THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS OF THE MENDICANT
ORDERS IN WALES.
By A. W. CLAPHAM, F.S.A.
The architecture and conventual arrangement of the
houses of the various orders of friars in this country is a
subject but little touched upon in archaeological literature,
a fact to be directly attributed to the exceedingly scanty
and fragmentary nature of the remains which have survived
to modern times. It will consequently be necessary to
prefix to an account of the structure of the Welsh houses of
the four orders, some observations on the peculiarities of
plan and arrangement which distinguish the buildings of
these orders. To do so it will be necessary to go farther
afield than Wales and to base one's conclusions on a study
of the buildings of the mendicant orders throughout the
British Isles. It is a curious fact that the marked peculi-
arities observable in the friars' churches in this country
are not in any way, as in some of the older orders, traceable
to a continental original. The Dominicans in France, l
the mendicant orders in general in Brittany,2 and the
Dominicans and Franciscans in central Italy,3 evolved
highly distinctive types of plans, but in no case does
this bear any resemblance to the typical friars' church in
England, and one is forced to the conclusion that the
building, whose salient features are about to be described,
was evolved independently within these islands.
The friars' church in the British Islands consisted of
two main parts, the quire, forming the private chapel of
the friars and the nave, forming their public preaching-
place. These fundamentals produced a plan very closely
approximating both in form and use to the ordinary parish
church. Two marked differences, however, are noticeable,
which seldom, if ever, appear in this country, outside the
1 For typical examples see plans in 2 For a typical example see plan in
Viollet le Due Dictionaire i, p. 272 (Jacobins, Congr^s Arch, de Frante 1914. (Jacobins,
Paris), and i, p. 299 (Jacobins, Toulouse) and M orlaix).
P. Lauzun Lei Couvents dAgen (Jacobins, * K. Biebr.ich, Holz°rdffkifn Franciskaner
Agen). u. Domin. Kircben in Umbricn u. Toskaita.
COLLEGE OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE, BRIDGNORTH 8/
1517, 14 Aug. THOMAS MAGNUS.
There is an immense amount of material for the life of this busy man of
affairs (see article in D.N.B. by W. A. J. Archbold), whose active career
began in the reign of Henry VII, and extended over half a century. We
can note here only his ecclesiastical preferments. He was a native of Newark-
on-Trent, where the local grammar school keeps his name alive, and his first
benefices were obtained in his native diocese of York. On 2 Oct. 1497 he
was instituted to the church of Sessay in the North Riding (York Reg.
Rotherham, i), and on 16 Nov. 1498, to that of South Collingham, near
Newark (ibid, i, f. 184). Of these churches, in the gift respectively of the
abbots and convents of St. Mary's, York, and Peterborough, he kept Sessay
throughout his life, but resigned South Collingham within a few years.
Archbishop Savage, who succeeded Rotherham at York in 1501, promoted
Magnus to several important benefices. He became warden or master of
the college of Sibthorpe, Notts., 13 Feb. 1502-3. On 28 Sept. 1503 he
had collation of the prebend of St. Stephen's altar at Beverley, but resigned
this on his appointment as archdeacon of the East Riding, 12 June 1504,
in addition to which, on 17 Nov. 1504, he received the office of sacrist of
the chapel of St. Mary and the Holy Angels at York (York Reg. Savage,
ff. 71, etc.) On 17 April 1508, he was instituted to the church of Kirkby
in Cleveland (York Reg. Bainbridge), and obtained the valuable living of
Bedale before 12 June 1509 (L. & P, H. Fill, i, p. 438). During this period,
he was much occupied with public business in the north, and served on
commissions of the peace for the three Ridings, the liberties of Beverley and
Ripon, and Northumberland (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1494-1509, pp. 653, etc.).
With the reign of Henry VIII and the ministry of Wolsey, he was employed
constantly, as a member of the privy council, on affairs of state. In 1520
he received a canonry of Windsor (Le Neve iii, 392), and obtained the
prebend of North Kelsey in Lincoln, 7 May 1521, which he quitted on
25 March 1523, for that of Corringham in the same church (ibid, ii, 198,
135). Further, to the rich preferment of the mastership of St. Leonard's
hospital at York he added the vicarage of Kendal, at that time one of the
wealthiest benefices in England. In addition to his archdeaconry, three
rectories and one vicarage, his canonries of Lincoln and Windsor, his deanery
of Bridgnorth, his sacristship and hospitnl at York, and his college in
Nottinghamshire, his formidable list of benefices in the V alor Ecelesiasticus
of 1534-5 includes the small prebend of Llanbadarn Odwyn in the church
of Llanddewi Brefi and the rectory of the free chapel of Whipstrode, Hants.
With the gradual surrender and ultimate suppression of colleges and chan-
tries, he lost several of these, and resigned his canonries in Lincoln and
Windsor. He kept his archdeaconry and parish churches, however, till his
death on 27 Aug. 1550 (see York Reg.Holgate, f. 40 d.}. He was buried, after
an incumbency of fifty-three years, in the church of Sessay, where his brass
js preserved within the present modern building.
THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS 89
mendicant orders and which may be taken as characteristic
of their buildings and theirs alone. The first of these is
the form and structure of the steeple, which in the larger
churches is placed over an oblong space or crossing (generally
termed the ' Walking Place ' in mediaeval documents),
interposed between the quire and the nave. This space,
being oblong, the steeple itself had to be supported on two
sides, the north and south, by arches sprung across from the
side walls and seldom carried down to the ground ; two
narrow arches opened east and west into the quire and nave.
The form of the steeple itself was, in England, commonly
polygonal but in Scotland and Ireland invariably square.
In France the polygonal steeple is common to the friars'
houses, 1 but it is invariably set flanking the church on one
side or the other and is never set astride the building as in
this country. In the smaller houses the place of the masonry
steeple was taken by a similar erection in timber, carried on
arched principals, spanning the church. Masonry towers
of this character still survive in England at Coventry
(Greyfriars), King's Lynn (Greyfriars) and Atherton
(Austin Friars) ; in Scotland at Dunbar (Trinitarian Friars)
and in Ireland at Quinn, Ennis, Muckross (Greyfriars),
Athenry (Blackfriars) and numerous other places. No
example of the timber steeple has survived, but it seems to
have existed at Hume2 (Whitefriars) and there are still
existing remains of the structure at Denbigh (Whitefriars).
No doubt it was the common form in the lesser houses and
would leave no trace of its presence where the walls are
destroyed below the roof-level. The space under this
crossing was commonly used in the larger houses as the
main entrance from the outside into the cloister.
The second marked peculiarity of the friars' churches
is the single and generally disproportionate transept,
opening out of, and forming an annexe to, the nave.
Symmetrical transepts are exceedingly rare in friars' churches
and in England and Wales there was commonly no transept
of any sort, but in nearly all the Irish houses3 and at
1 Cf. Toulouse (Black, Grey and Austin friaries in Reports of Public Works (Ireland),
Friars), Avignon (Grey and Austin Friars), 1901-1914, including Buttevant, Creevelea,
Angouleme (Grey Friars), Agen (Black Clare-Galway, Kilcrea, Sherkin Island,
Friars), etc. Sligo and Timoleague, also Architectural and
* Arch. Journ. XLVII, 105. Topographical Record for Askeaton, Ennis,
3 See the excellent series of plans of Irish Quinn, etc.
9<D THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS
Richmond, Yorks1 (Greyfriars), Warrington2 (Austin
Friars) and Lanfaes (Greyfriars) the curious single transept
was present. It opened out of the nave by one or more
arches, commonly had a chapel-aisle on the east side and
lay on the side of the church remote from the cloister.
With regard to the conventual buildings, friars' houses
show a marked disregard, in many instances, of the normal
monastic arrangement. Thus the frater stood west of the
cloister at London (Greyfriars) and Canterbury (Blackfriars)
and the dorter was south of the cloister at Denbigh, instead
of the normal positions, south and east of the cloister
respectively. A second peculiarity is the common practice
of incorporating one or more of the cloister alleys within
the main outer walls of the ranges to which they belonged,
thus causing the dorter or frater, as the case might be, on
the first floor, to stand partly over the cloister alley. This
practice is exemplified in most of the surviving friars'
buildings in England and Ireland and no doubt was dictated
by a desire for economy either in space or material.
The historical aspect of the various houses of the
mendicant orders in Wales has been clearly and succinctly
dealt with by Miss R. C. Easterling3 in Archaeologia
Cambrensis, where she has effectively disposed of the various
doubtful houses and has reduced the total number of definite
friaries in the country to ten. Valuable evidence as to the
buildings is also provided by the Suppression Inventories
of Bangor, Llanvaes, Rhuddlan, Denbigh, Cardiff, Carmar-
then and Haverfordwest, printed also in Archaeologia
Cambrensis. 4 These have been considered in relation to the
existing remains, together with results of excavation and it
is hoped that the present paper may in some sense complete
the survey of the Welsh friaries which the foregoing
contributions have so ably begun.
The Welsh friaries included five Dominican houses —
Bangor, Brecon, Cardiff, Haverfordwest and Rhuddlan ;
three . Franciscan houses — Cardiff, Carmarthen and
Llanfaes ; one Carmelite house — Denbigh, and one house
of Austin Friars — Newport. In this order is it proposed
to deal with the remains.
1 See plan in Victoria C. Hist. Torks. :I Arch. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv, pp. 323-356.
AT. Riding i, 31. The Friars in Wales.
^ See plan in Victoria C. Hilt. Lane;.
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES
BANGOR. BLACK FRIARS.
Little need be said of this establishment, which seems
to date from the middle of the thirteenth century — it is
first mentioned in 1 25 1 . l The remains, noted and described
by Mr. H. Hughes and Mr. P. S. Gregory,2 probably
= SUGJJLSTtD\ POSIT IONS
[By tourtay o' the Cam. Ar^b. Lo:-
BLACKFRIARS PRIORY, BANCOR.
belonged to this house, though some little doubt has arisen
as to the existence of a second house of friars at Bangor.
The remains seemed to indicate a small establishment with
a cloister 62 feet from east to west, and lying on the
1 Ibid. 6th Ser., xiv, p. 333, citing Close Roll 35 Hen. iii, m. 20.
* Ibid, sth Ser., xvii, p. 24 et seq.
92 THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS
north side of the church. Of the church itself there were
remains of an aisleless building (26 feet wide), probably
the quire, with traces of the start of a wider building,
probably the nave, to the west. Walls found to the east
of the eastern range served to indicate that a chapter-house
projected in this direction, as two carved stone coffin-lids
were found within its area. Two other carved coffin-lids
were also discovered, one with a curious heraldic cheeky
design, with the silver indicated by lead run into the
BRECON. BLACK FRIARS.
The Black Friars' house at Brecon was founded about
the middle of the thirteenth century and is first mentioned
as existing in 1269. 1 Its remains are the most extensive
and important of all the Welsh friaries, their partial
preservation being due to the founding or refounding of a
school there by Henry VIII. The remains consist of the
quire of the church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, still intact
and in continuous use as the chapel of the college since the
dissolution — the ruins of the nave, with a north aisle —
some indications of the position of the cloister, dorter and
sacristy — and a detached group of buildings to the south,
the purpose of which will be discussed later.
The Quire (65 feet by 26 feet) is a mid-thirteenth-
century building, with a large east window (plate ii),
consisting of five lancet-lights of unequal width, and all
incorporated under a two-centred outer order or head.
The north wall has a series of eleven lancet windows
(plate i), divided by attached shafts with moulded capitals
and bases and having moulded rear-arches ; below the
third window from the east end is a recess in the wall with
a moulded segmental-pointed arch, probably the founder's
tomb. The eastern part of the south wall has four lancet
windows uniform with those opposite ; below them and
set in a projection are the double piscina and scdilia of four
bays (plate ii). At the back of the piscina and in the
westernmost bay of the sedilia are squints, now blocked,
but formerly communicating with the sacristy, which
was entered by a doorway further west and now also
1 Ibid. 6th Ser., xiv, p. 337, Provincial Visitation in 1269.
to f o to fo jo
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES 93
blocked. The quire is closed at the west end by an inserted
cross-wall of the fourteenth century, pierced by a two-
centred archway of two orders. This wall was no doubt
inserted to support either a bell-tower or a bell-cote,
replacing the original structure which was probably of
The Nave (95^ feet by 26 feet) is now roofless and stands
only some 12 feet high. The whole structure appears to
have been rebuilt and perhaps extended in the fourteenth
century. The north wall had an arcade, opening into the
aisle, and probably of five bays, of which only the lower
parts of the east and west responds now remain ; east of
the arcade is a pointed doorway, opening into the north
chapel. The south wall has, at the east end, traces of the
blocked doorway from the cloister ; further west is a second
doorway, of fourteenth-century material, but probably not
in situ. Of the two other doorways in the western part of
this wall, the eastern is modern but the second is of the
fourteenth century and is valuable as giving some indication
of the western extent of the cloister. Intruding into the
south-west angle of the church is a rounded projection of
post-reformation date. In the west wall of the nave the
bases of the splays of a large west window still remain.
Across the east end of the nave is a modern wall, enclosing
the existing vestibule, which may represent an ancient
feature, which together with the west wall of the quire
perhaps supported a steeple.
The North Aisle (12^ feet wide) has a chapel at the east
end, which is still in use. It has much restored windows in
the east and north walls and a double piscina in the south
wall. The chapel is closed in on the west by a modern wall.
West of this chapel only a short length of fourteenth-century
walling survives, with the splay of one window ; beyond
this point the wall is a reconstruction of uncertain date,
incorporating, towards its western end, a reset fourteenth-
The Cloister has been entirely destroyed, but the
weathering of its former roof is visible on the south wall of
the nave, extending from a modern buttress on the east
to the modern school-building on the west. If the doorway,
referred to above, be considered as representing its western
limit it must have been some 71 feet from east to west.
94 THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS
The range, flanking the cloister on the east, contained the
Dorter on the first floor, as there is in the south wall of the
quire, at this point, a fifteenth-century doorway, now
blocked, which can only have served for the night-stairs
from the dorter. The position of the Sacristy is indicated
by the blocked doorway from the quire, already referred to,
and by three corbels of its former roof, which still remain
above this doorway. It possessed also an eastern extension,
kept low to avoid the windows of the quire, and into which
opened the two squints already described. There are,
however, no traces of the junctions of the walls of these
buildings and only excavation can determine their precise
It now remains to consider the detached group of
buildings, standing 170 feet to the south of the nave of
the church. The group consists of two halls set at right
angles to one another, one terminating eastwards in a
three-sided apse, and a smaller range extending to the
south. The whole group is of the fourteenth century and
though the windows are almost entirely modern and most
of the doorways are much restored, it seems to retain its
original features, otherwise, largely unaltered. Both halls
have large fireplaces and retain much of their original
roof-construction ; the roof over the eastern hall has
curved principals meeting under the collars. The roof of
the western hall is of more ornate character but of similar
construction ; the principals are trefoiled on the under
side, as are the curved wind-braces. The twro stone fire-
places have heavy hoods, resting on corbelled projections,
and though extensively restored, are still, in part, of the
fourteenth century. The wing to the south, though
contemporary with the rest, has no features of interest.
It is very difficult to come to any definite conclusion as to
the purpose of this very singular block of buildings. Three
explanations may be suggested but it is not pretended
that each of them is not open to serious objections. They
are — (a) a combined guest-house and infirmary ; (b) a
provincial's - lodging ; (c) the earliest buildings of the
grammar-school. The first of these is perhaps the most
probable. The hall to the west would serve as the guest-
hall ; it was formerly entirely cut off from the eastern hall,
the existing doorway in the party-wall being modern. The
To face page 94.
BLACK FRIARS, BRECON
Windows in N. wall of Chancel
To face page 95.
BLACK FRIARS, BRECON
Chancel, looking N.E.
BLACK FRIARS, BRECON
Piscinae and Sedilia in S wall
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES 95
eastern hall would serve as the infirmary, the body forming
the hall of the sick and the apsidal end as the chapel ; on
this hypothesis the two parts must have been separated by
a wooden screen, after the fashion prevalent in many
mediaeval hospitals. It should, however, be said that there
is no existing evidence, such as a piscina, that the apsidal
end contained an altar. A provincial's lodging was provided
for in certain of the greater houses of friars, such as the
Black Friars, London, 1 but the existence of such a structure
at Brecon is unlikely and in any case provides no explanation
of the two halls side by side. The school-building theory
is a suggestion only ; practically nothing is known of such
structures, in the middle ages, so it will be profitless to
pursue the subject.
CARDIFF. BLACK FRIARS.
The house of the Black Friars of Cardiff was founded
before the year 1269, 2 on a site without the west gate of
the town. Though nothing was standing above ground its
remains were completely excavated by the late Marquis of
Bute in i887,3 and are still exposed to view. The rubble
walling has been brought to a general level in brick and the
floor-surfaces of the church repaved. There is little to
indicate the date of the various structures, though the church
appears to have been shortened after its destruction in 1414,
the nave being then reduced to 80 feet in length. The few
fragments of mouldings and window tracery, found on the
spot, date mainly from the first half of the fourteenth
century and do not reflect the rebuilding of the church
after its burning by Owen Glendower in 1404. The dis-
position of the buildings is sufficiently explained by the
accompanying plan and little further need be said save to
call attention to the small but interesting infirmary block,
on the north of the site. This, with the exception of the
small establishments at Hume4 by Alnwick (Northumber-
land) and Clare (Suffolk),- is the only friars' infirmary that
can be certainly identified in this country.
1 Arc baeologia Ixiii, p. 71. Scr., vi, 97 and C. B. Fowler, Excavations
1 Arcb. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv., p. 337. on the site of the Black Friars' Monastery,
Provincial Visitation in 1269. 1897-
»J. P. Conway in Arcb, Camb. 5th 3 Aicb. Jo-,™., XLVII, 105.
96 THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS
The suppression inventory1 of this house mentions the
vestry, high altar, Lady altar, a pair of organs and the
HAVERFORDWEST. BLACK FRIARS.
The date of the settlement of the Black Friars at
Haverfordwest is unknown, but they were established there
in 12462 and according to Leland the site was changed
in 1256. The buildings stood on the east side of Bridge
Street, between it and the river, on the site now occupied
by the Black Horse Inn, a foundry and other premises.
These buildings are mainly constructed of rubble, but
there is no recognisable fragment of pre-Reformation work,
now visible, though lead coffins and a stone coffin are said
to have been found on the site. A letter from Edmund
Yardley to Browne Willis, about I7393 says that there were
then little or no remains, but that two effigies had been
The inventory of goods,4 taken at the dissolution
mentions the ' candllbemys ' and a table of alabaster as
they stood in the church and in the quire, a table at the
high altar, the new stalls, the hall and two bells in the
RHUDDLAN. BLACK FRIARS.
The Black Friars were established at Rhuddlan some-
where about the middle of the thirteenth century5 and
must have begun their buildings soon afterwards. The
outbuildings of the existing farm, called Plas newydd,
surround a square yard which no doubt represents, to some
extent, the cloister. No trace is left of the church or of
the eastern range, the site of which is occupied by a modern
building, but the whole of this range was standing when the
brothers Buck made their drawing (plate iii) in ij^2.6 This
drawing is particularly valuable, as it shows not only some
highly interesting details but also indicates that the buildings
at Rhuddlan were on a much more ambitious scale that was
1 Arc b. Camb. Orig. Documents, p. xxxvii. * Arc b. Camb. Orig. Documents, p. xli.
2 Ibid. 6th Ser., xiv., citing Lib. Rolls
Hen jjj • Arcb. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv, 334.
3 Printed in Arcb. Camb. 5th Ser., xvii., • See Flintshire Hist. Soc. Journ. \.
SCALE OF FEET
To face page 97.
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES 97
usual among the lesser friaries. The whole length of the
building shown was no doubt occupied by the dorter on
the first floor and at its north end is some indication of the
junction with the church, though even then this building
had been entirely destroyed. Projecting eastwards from
the range .is a gabled structure, with three lancet-windows
in the east end and three in the south return wall ; this
was undoubtedly the chapter-house with a room above it.
Further south, in the main range, is the archway of a passage
from the cloister, and still further south a chimney-stack,
probably that of the fireplace in the warming-house.
At the south end of the range is a large doorway, at the
dorter-level, evidently that leading to the rere-dorter, the
ruins of which, with its connecting bridge, are also shown.
Of the southern range of the cloister court, the eastern part
of the inner or north wall is still standing and contains four
small square-headed windows of red Chester stone, set high
in the wall, above a string-course which probably marked
the level of the cloister-roof. The rest of the range seems
to have been rebuilt, but the south side of it is shown in
steep perspective in Buck's view. The only other ancient
portion of the existing buildings is the northern portion of
the outer wall of an outbuilding on the west of the yard.
It appears to have projected westward from the original
western range, as there is a return angle at the south end.
It contains two pointed windows, probably of the fourteenth
century, and blocked with ashlar. The rest of this range
contains other pointed windows, but they appear not to be
original and the walls themselves to be of post-suppression
Built into the garden-wall, to the north of the yard,
are portions of a moulded and cusped arch of early
fourteenth-century date and probably part of a tomb-
recess. Of the various funeral monuments built into the
walls of the buildings round the yard, it will only be
necessary to give a list as they have mostly been already
described and photographed. On the east side of the yard :
(a) effigy in high relief of a civilian in hood with flap, belt
with skirt of gown tucked into it and holding in both hands
a baton, or possibly a mace, probably fourteenth-century ;
(b) part of a coffin-lid with inscription.
On south side of yard : (a) incised slab with figure of an
THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS
archbishop1 in mass- vestments with cross-staff and marginal
inscription to William Freney, archbishop of Rages, c. 1290.
This slab has now been removed to the parish church ;
(b) slab with raguly cross in relief, head in a quatrefoil,
sword at side and inscription to Robert, son of Robert de
Bridelton, early fourteenth-century.
On west side of yard : coffin-lid with elaborately
enriched cross on stem inscribed ' Hie jacet Snaisii,' the
rest of the inscription destroyed, thirteenth-century.
The inventory of goods taken at the suppression2
mentions the quire with a table of alabaster on the altar
and new stalls, two bells in the steeple and the kitchen.
CARDIFF. GREY FRIARS.
The date of the foundation of the Grey Friars at
Cardiff is uncertain, but the remains uncovered carry it
back, at any rate to the end of the thirteenth century.
The house is first mentioned in I399-3 The remains,
like those of the Black Friars' house, were excavated in 1896
by the late Marquis of Bute4 and the walls and flooring of
the church treated in the same manner as at the sister house.
Further excavations were carried out in 1925 by Mr. J. P.
Grant, F.S.A., who has, very generously, placed his notes
and plans at my disposal. The accompanying plan is based
on that of Mr. Grant and shows the walls uncovered in
these excavations. The lighting area interposed between
the cloister and the nave and shown on the earlier plans
(Arch. Camb. 6th Ser. i, 72) does not appear to be sub-
stantiated by the latest excavations. This, however, was a
not uncommon feature in friars' houses and occurred else-
where at London Grey Friars and Norwich Black Friars.
The domestic buildings were largely built over by a mansion
of the Herbert family, the ruins of which are still standing.
The presence of this structure renders the identification of
the various parts of the mediaeval structure peculiarly
difficult ; the indications of the date of the domestic
buildings, shown on the plan, must thus be considered only
1 Illustrated in Arcb. Camb. 6th Ser., * Arch. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv, 34.0.
xii. 123. * C. B. Fowler. Excavations on the site of
* Arch. Camb. Orig. Documents, p. xlii. the Grey Friars' Monastery, Cardiff, 1896.
or N W. ANCLE OF
FROM ARCH CAMB. 6. *• 5E* VOL. I. P
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES 99
tentative. The extensive remains of the nave arcades of the
church, discovered during the excavations, show that they
were erected about 1300, but provided no explanation of a
curious feature of the plan — the extra width of both the
east and west bays — though perhaps this was in some sort
a legacy from an earlier building that occupied the site.
This house was spared by Owen Glendower in 1404, by
reason of his well-known favour for the Franciscan Order.
The suppression inventory l mentions the quire with a table
of alabaster, a pair of organs, five tables of alabaster in the
' church ' (nave), a bell in the steeple, the vestry, kitchen,
hall and a new chamber, also a grate of iron that stood in
CARMARTHEN. GREY FRIARS.
The Grey Friars' house at Carmarthen was founded
before 12842 an<^ stood in Lammas Street, to the west of
the castle.3 No structural fragment of it now remains
above ground and there is little or no indication of its
plan or arrangement . The suppression inventory 4 mentions,
the sextry, a pall for the Earl of Richmond's tomb, the
quire with a pair of organs and a goodly tomb of Pryce ap
Thomas, a grate of iron about him, the church with five
tables of alabaster and a frame of iron, through all the church,
before the altars, for tapers, the steeple with a clock and
two bells, the king's chamber, the inner chamber, the
chamber next the lavery, the chamber next the parlour
door, the kitchen, brew-house, hall and buttery. From
the mentions of the church it would appear to have been
a building of considerable size and importance ; the
' church,' i.e. the nave, had apparently five altars with an
iron screen before them. The two tombs, mentioned,
have fortunately both survived, that of Edmund Tudor,
Earl of Richmond, being now in St. David's cathedral and
that of Sir Rhys ap Thomas in St. Thomas' church,
Carmarthen. The steeple is said to have remained standing
until about the beginning of the last century.
1 Arch. Camb. Orig. Documents, p. xxxviii. 3 R. Com. Hitt. Mom. Wales. Carmarthen,
* Arch. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv., citing Man. p. 259.
Fran. ii. p. 287. * Arch. Camb. Orig. Documents, p. xxxix.
LLANFAES. GREY FRIARS.
The Grey Friars were established at Llanfaes by
Llewellin the Great, the church being dedicated in 1237. l
The house was thus one of the earliest friaries to be founded
in Wales. The modern house called the Friars, a short
distance to the east of Beaumaris town, may possibly
contain reused material, but there are now no structural
remains of the mediaeval buildings above ground. The last
surviving structure was destroyed in the third quarter of
the last century, but before that time it was, very fortunately,
planned and the plan published in Archaeologia Cambrensis. 2
GREY FRIARS, LLANFAES.
There can be no doubt that this structure was the western
part of the church, the remains exhibiting just those
peculiarities of plan which are so commonly met with in
churches of the Irish friaries.
The Nave (51 feet by 28 feet) had a triplet of lancet-
lights in the west wall and in the south wall a large arch,
17 J feet wide, with a doorway to the east of it, both opening
into a large transeptal chapel or chapels and corresponding
very closely to the arrangement at Buttevant, Multi-
fernam, Muckross (Irrelach) and many other Irish friaries.
West of the large arch and in the transept, was a recess,
probably for a tomb. To the east of the nave was a division
1 Arcb. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv, 331.
1 Arcb. Camb. 3rd Ser., i, 76.
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES IOI
(21 feet by 26 feet) opening to the east and west by segmental
arches, which are said to have been of ' Perpendicular '
character. This was no doubt the ' walking-place ' between
the friars' quire and the nave, and above it was the steeple.
I have indicated a doorway in the north wall, which was
probably present, as this was commonly the only entrance
from the cloister to the friars' quire. Marks in the turf
were noted, in 1855, indicating a destroyed building
extending 18 feet further east. This was the friars' quire,
which in the first church, perhaps included the space under
the steeple and making a total length of 41 f feet. When
the fifteenth-century arches were inserted the quire must,
however, have been lengthened towards the east. This
alteration may have been part of the reconstruction indicated
in the charter of Henry V, dated 1414. As to the domestic
buildings, they must have stood on the side of the church
opposite to that of the transept, namely the north side,
but there is no further evidence concerning them. An
unusually fine tomb-slab, with the half effigy of a lady, and
elaborate foliage, is now preserved in the grounds of
Baron Hill, Beaumaris, and is illustrated, together with a
slab bearing a cross and interlaced knotwork in Archaeologia
Cambrensis. l The effigy has been ascribed to Joan, daughter
of king John and wife of the founder, and appears to date
from the middle of the thirteenth century.
The inventory of goods,2 taken at the dissolution,
mentions the quire with a fair table of alabaster over the
high altar, four tables of alabaster in the church, a bell in
the steeple, the vestry, brew-house, kitchen, hall, store-
house and cloister. Here the term ' church ' no doubt
includes the transeptal chapels.
DENBIGH. WHITE FRIARS.
The White Friars were established at Denbigh in the
last years of the thirteenth century, about 1289, 3 and the
surviving portion of their church dates from a few years
later. It stands at the foot of the hill, on the north side of
Denbigh town and is a building of considerable interest.
The part remaining, 573- feet by 22* feet, is the friars' quire
1 Arcb. Camb. 3rd Ser., i, 80. 3 Arch. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv, 347.
2 Ibid- Orig. Documents, p. xliii.
THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS
and part of the nave of the church. The Quire occupied
the eastern 334 feet and has a large east window (plate iv) of
about 1300, altered early in the fifteenth century6 into a
window of five cinquefoiled lights, with a transom and
vertical tracery in the head. In the north wall is an opening
of doubtful age and further west, an original window
(plate v) set high in the wall, to avoid the stalls of the friars
m ..JIM..!* H
and consisting of five lights with double mullions, cinque-
foiled ogee heads externally and plain ogee heads internally.
In the south wall is a piscina and three bays of sedilia,
all of about 1300, and further west, a blocked window,
corresponding in size and position with that just described.
The limits of the quire, westwards, are determined by the
position, one the north wall (plate v), of seven curved roof-
1 Tanner is cited in Arch. Camb. 6th ment of the church in 1399, which may be
Ser., nv, 347 as mentioning an enlarge- the date of the tracery of the east window.
To face page 102.
WHITE FRIARS, DENBIGH
To face page 103.
WHITE FRIARS, DENBIGH
(i) Remains of timber supports of steeple. (2) Window in N. wall
OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN WALES IC>3
principals, carried down below the main wall-plate on to a
lower wall-plate, supported, in its turn, by stone corbels. The
same arrangement is indicated on the south wall opposite,
by a recess in the wall. These principals supported the
timber steeple, which is described, in the suppression
inventory, as being like the louvre of a hall. This, so far as
I am aware, is the only surviving trace of the timber steeple
of a friars' church in the country, though several masonry
towers remain intact. The space under a friars' steeple
was kept open and served generally as the chief means of
communication between the cloister and the quire and
often with the cemetery to the north of the church as well.
The space was closed to the east and west by walls or, as
in this case, by screens. In the south wall is the doorway
from the cloister and above it a three-light window.
Immediately outside this doorway, and to the west of it,
is a recess, probably for a stoup.
The small surviving portion of the Nave has, in the north
wall, the eastern splay of a fourteenth-century window,
blocked early in the sixteenth century, when another
window was inserted at a higher level. This second window
has a moulded internal lintel of oak extending west beyond
the line of the existing west wall. In the south wall is a
blocked window, probably original, and below it is the
piscina of one of the two nave altars, placed against the west
screen under the steeple. The existing west wall is com-
paratively modern, but how far the nave extended beyond
it, cannot be determined, except by excavation ; the
broken end of the south wall is visible externally. It is
unfortunate that the original roof of the building was
destroyed by fire in 1898.
Of the domestic buildings, the only surviving fragment
appears to be the lower part of the south wall of a barn,
running parallel to the church at a distance of about
61 feet to the south.
The suppression survey, l after describing the aisleless
church, roofed with slate, mentions the little cloister south
of it, one or more of the flanking ranges of which, incorpor-
ated the adjoining cloister alley or allies ; the chapter-house
and bishop's lodging, on the east side ; on the south side
the dorter (possibly with the frater beneath it) ; on the
1 R. Com. Hist. Mom. Denbigh, p. 70.
IO4 THE ARCHITECTURAL REMAINS OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS
west side a little hall (possibly the guest-hall or the f rater),
the buttery and a chamber ; an old kitchen, a gatehouse
and an old stable, of which the positions are not specified.
It should be noted that the traditional relative positions
of the various buildings was not maintained at Denbigh as
was not uncommonly the case in other friars' houses.
The inventory of goods1 mentions the quire with two
tables of alabaster, two bells in the steeple, the vestry,
chamber, hall, kitchen, brew-house and buttery.
NEWPORT. AUSTIN FRIARS.
The only house of Austin Friars in Wales was established
at Newport in I377-2 It was situated between Church
Street and the river Usk. In 1800 Cox3 describes the
remains of the friary as consisting of several detached
buildings, including a spacious hall with Gothic windows,
the dilapidated body of the church and a small but elegant
north transept. Mr. T. Wakeman,4 writing in 1859, says
that all the remains had then been destroyed and gives
an illustration of a sixteenth-century building and some
other fragments, which had recently been demolished.
There is now nothing of recognisable antiquity on the site,
but it may be noted that the mention of the north transept
implies that here, as at Llanfaes, the Irish type of church
with the single transept was adopted.
I am indebted to Dr. R. E. M. Wheeler for the photo-
graphs of the Black Friars at Brecon and to Mr. W. J.
Hemp for those of the White Friars at Denbigh.
The block of the plan of the Black Friars at Bangor
has been kindly lent by the Cambrian Archaeological
Society, and that of Buck's view of the Black Friars at
Rhuddlan by the Flintshire Historical Society.
1 Arch. Camb. Orig. Documents, p. xlii. * T. Wakeman, The Monastery of Justin
1 Arch. Camb. 6th Ser., xiv, 332. Friars at Newport (1859), Monmouthshire
3 Cox. Tour in Monmouthshire, p. 56. and Caerleon Antiq. Soc.
THE HISTORY AND ASSOCIATIONS OF THE
ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF THE VALE
OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT.
BY T. ELIAS, ESQ.
(Contributed to the Conway Conyrest, August 1897).
ISTORY informs us that Henry VIII
(in conjunction with Cardinal Wolsey),
on the suppression of the monastic insti-
tutions of the country, recommended
the dismantling of the buildings. This
will go far to account for the paucity
of extensive ruins. Cardinal Wolsey,
the first place, closed the smaller monasteries,
principally those belonging to the friars, which some
writers say had become dens of corruption. Many of
them were so poorly endowed that their "religious"
members must have been little better than paupers.
The mendicant and barefooted fraternity were, no doubt,
a great burden to the laity, often obtaining relief through
working on the superstition of the latter. From these
facts we must deduce that dissolution, or partial disso-
lution, had become a necessity, and that the reform was
more a social than a religious matter. It appears that
out of two hundred small "houses", fifty-three had a clear
income of less than £50 per annum.1 Of the fifty-three,
twenty-three had endowments varying from £10 to
£20 per annum. It was impossible for such institutions to
do much good, and Cardinal Wolsey was to some extent
justified in using a portion of those endowments for im-
proving the position of his school and college at Ipswich
1 This would represent a somewhat larger sum than in modern
ANCIENT HOUSES NEAR HALIFAX.
Halifax, two hundred years ago, was known as a
" proud little town". Its inhabitants were noted for
their attainments in learning, and many of the parents
in the neighbourhood, where they could afford it, sent
their sons to Cambridge and Dublin Universities, to get
a thorough classical education.
ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF THE VALE OF OON'WAY. 31
and Oxford. Unfortunately Henry VIII resolved on
a much more radical policy, and proceeded to dissolve
and plunder all the monastic institutions of the realm,
commencing with those which were endowed with less
than £200 per annum. He sent commissioners to visit
religious houses, to inquire into their condition, and to
ascertain what lands and revenues they held, and what
use was made of the same. The way in which the
members of these " commissions" carried out their
instructions is historical ; and no doubt, in many cases,
after satisfying the rapacious king, the members were
not unmindful of their own respective interests ! In the
celebrated " Black-book" compiled by them, and laid
before Parliament, they formulated a series of terrible
indictments against the monasteries, no doubt partly
true and partly false. These disclosures created intense
ill-feeling against the monastic orders, which must have
resulted in great suffering on their part. In 1536 an order
was issued for the suppression of three hundred and
twenty-six monastic institutions, having in the aggregate
revenues to the extent of £32,000 nominally, but really
ten times that amount was granted to the king, together
with the furniture, chattels, plate, etc., belonging to them,
of the computed value of £100,000. The higher-endowed
monasteries extended their hospitality to the expelled
members of the smaller houses. It is said that at
least 10,000 members of the various monasteries were
turned adrift, with the gift of a few clothes, and a trifle
each in money. The sufferings of these poor monks
must have been terrible. It is possible that some of them
became inmates of the continental monasteries. About
1538 the king took the higher-grade establishments in
hand, which met the same fate as the smaller monastic
institutions. In some cases the lands were granted for
founding new bishoprics, but those that benefited most
by the plunder were the king and some of his favourites.
The latter were not slow in robbing the buildings of
all valuable materials, and leaving them utterly dis-
mantled. In many examples of Henry's Charters it is
stipulated that this should be done. How sad it is
to think of the wholesale destruction, and scattering of
32 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
invaluable historical manuscripts, missals, etc., when we
are told that each letter of the latter (according to old
chroniclers) took hours to paint ! Such chronicles, etc., as
have survived this outbreak of vandalism — those of
Abingdon, of St. Augustine of Evesham, of St. Albans
and Malmesbury, the " Roll of Battle Abbey," and many
others— bear testimony to the extraordinary industry
and learning of the monks of old. An immense number
of manuscripts (some say shiploads) were sent off to
Holland, Germany, Italy, and other countries. Leland
says : —
" Covetousness was at that time so busy, that public wealth
was not anywhere regarded. A number of those who purchased
these superstitious mansions, the monasteries and abbeys, reserved
of the libraries, books, some to scour their candlesticks (&c.), some
were sold to the grocers (&c.), and some they sent over the sea to the
bookbinders, not in small numbers, but in shipsf ul ; yea, the Uni-
versities of the realm are not clear from so detestable a fact. I
know a merchant that bought the contents of two noble libraries for
40sh. each — a shame it is to be spoken."
The total number of the monasteries suppressed
amounted to 645. The abbots of 23 of these had
seats in Parliament. Ninety colleges were dissolved,
2374 churches and free chapels, and 110 hospitals or
fraternities, also shared the same fate. The total income
amounted to £161,000. Many of the magnificent
churches and monasteries were simply stripped of their
roofs, and of course were soon in a ruinous condition.
Many of these interesting relics of the past are still to
be found in every county in Great Britain. The poorer
inhabitants of the country must have suffered greatly
from the suppression of the larger establishments, as
not only did the monks administer to their religious wants,
but extended a kind of outdoor relief which was a great
boon in its way. They also attended to their physical
ailments, a great matter in those dark ages. In another
way its effects told disastrously on the nobility and
gentry, who often provided for their younger sons, or
friends and relations, by placing them in the various
monastic institutions. In some cases the monastic lands
were bought by land-jobbers, who threw them out of
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 33
cultivation, and so deprived many labourers of their daily
bread. All this created bad feeling against the "re-
formers", and led to many serious outbreaks on the
part of the populace. The monks founded schools,
drained marshes, cleared the thick forests, and were
invaluable members of society in many ways. Some of
the monasteries near the sea coast were strongly fortified,
and were often attacked by Danish marauders. In
" Here ward the Wake", Kingsley graphically describes a
monastery of this description — " Crowland Abbey".
A writer in the Gentleman s Magazine, in 1824, says: —
" Taking the monks as a body, there is no doubt that they were
hospitable, promoters of science, and the preservers of literature.
Gross ignorance and insensibility could not have been universal in
men who preserved through several centuries of the deepest bar-
barity, the remains of Augustan learning and Attic elegance ; who
have bequeathed to us many models of architecture unrivalled,
who have illuminated missals with lovely colours, not approached
since that time."
As a proof of the number of monastic establishments
existing in England, I may instance a few names and
Suffolk — 5 abbeys, 24 priories, etc.
Yorkshire (North Eiding) — 16 abbeys, 5 priories, 8 nunneries.
Yorkshire (East Eiding) — 9 priories, 6 nunneries.
Somerset — 7 abbeys, 19 priories, 3 nunneries.
NOTE. — Glastonbury Abbey had an annual income of £40,000.
The abbot sat in Parliament. (The last Abbot, Eichard Whiting,
refused to surrender to Henry VIII, and with two other men, was
Stafford— 6 abbeys, 13 priories, 7 nunneries.
These statistics are taken from a " Compendium of County
History", published in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1823-8.
Many petitions were sent up to Parliament, praying
that in the case of the larger establishments the Act of
Dissolution might be suspended, but they were of no
avail. This fact proved that the good deeds of the
monks were greatly appreciated by many people. The
Orders most popular were the Benedictines and the
Cistercians. By far the greater number of the monas-
34 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
teries were built and endowed between the tenth and
thirteenth centuries. Wales, being a poor country, had
fewer religious houses than England ; yet some of them
were established long before those in England. The
following are a few instances :—
St. Deiniol(or Bangorfawr), Baugorisycoed, St. Beuno (Clynnog),
Bardsey, Llanddwyn, St. Cybi (Cor), St. Seiriol (Cor), St. Winifreds,
Gwytherin (a nunnery), St. Mary's Priory, Beddgelert, etc. With
a few exceptions, there are no traces left of the above. There are
fine ruins at Peumon (which priory was built by Maelgwyn
Gwynedd), and at Valle Crucis Abbey.
It appears that the Abbeys of Aberconway, Ystrad-
fflur, and Ystrad Farchill (Strata Monaca), were the most
important monasteries in Wales. There was a Carmelite
abbey at Denbigh, which, according to an old chronicle,
was given by Sir John Salisbury in 1282 to the monastery
of Bardsey. It was established by Adam Salisbury,
temp. Henry III. Owen, in his Account of Wales (1602),.
only mentions a few monasteries, etc., in the different
counties of Wales :—
" Flintshire — Basingwick, alias Maesglas, Monachlog Ruddlan.
Denbighshire — Ville Crucis, also Langewast ; Priory, Dinas
Montgomeryshire — Monasteries, etc., none.
Anglesey — Monastery, Beaumaris (? Friars), Priory, Penrnon.
Carnarvonshire — Monasteries, Bangor and Conway ; Priory,
Bodkeln (Bethkeln), Beddgelert(?).
Merionethshire — Monastery, Kimmer.
Cardiganshire — Nunnery, Llanllyr ; Priory, Cardigan."
From the above list it appears that Owen knew
nothing about the various other monastic institutions, or
purposely ignored them.1
Coming now to the special subject of this essay, that is,
the history of the local abbeys and convents of the
Vale of Conway, one cannot help regretting the fact that
so little reliable information is to be obtained about
them. Dugdale, Speed, Tanner, and some other authors
have, however, thrown some light upon the subject.
1 Latimer, who could not be suspected of any leaning towards the
Romish faith, earnestly entreated that two or three monasteries in
every shire might be continued (Baynes, Antiquities of Conway Castle).
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 35
The abbey of Aber-Conway was the most important
establishment, so it ought to come first. The original
abbey was endowed by Llewelyn ap lorwerth, Prince of
North Wales, " to the honor of the blessed Virgin Mary"
(1185-6). By his charter it was highly endowed with
lands in Carnarvonshire, Anglesey, and Denbighshire.
He also allotted to it the land on which the abbey stood,
and also part of Creuddyn. In the charter, written in
Latin, which is to be found in extenso in Williams's
History of Aberconwy, the boundaries of the different
estates are fully described. Many of the names men-
tioned are still to be found on the Ordnance Maps, and
help to prove the enormous extent of the properties
belonging to the monastery. Of course, the greater
number of the names are not now to be found. Near
the town of Aberconway — if we are to judge by names —
the present Conway " Council" property is identical
with the abbey lands in the borough ; and the fact of
Edward I having given land to the town, on the removal
of the abbey to Maenan, seems to confirm that idea. In
addition to that property, there was land in Llanfair-
fechan, reaching as far as the Cambwll river, which runs
through the Brynneuadd land. In Anglesey the abbey
had land in the neighbourhood of the Braint river,
Trefarthen, Dwynain, Bodgedwydd, Sarn, Carregele,
Carnedd lorworth, Henllys, Trefdraeth, Corsygygfrau,
Pwllhaloc, Llanfaer, and many other places, the names
of which have disappeared. The charter also specifies
certain lands about Kebymog and Llanwdda (Carnar-
von). In south Carnarvonshire the names would suggest
that from the village of Beddgelert to the summit of
" Ywyddfa" and " Cribgoch," the land about Gwastad
Amies, and Nant Gwynant, Llyndir, Hendrefrwynog,
Pennant Carndylif, Mymbyr, Blaencarw, Llyndinas,
Abercolwyn, and on by the Cowlyd lake, and " Llithrig
y wrach", as far as Llyn Eigiau, and from there down
to the Conway river, belonged to the Abbey of Aber-
conway.1 These lands would represent a very extensive
1 There is considerable doubt as to whether it belonged to the
Bishop of Bangor (St. Deiniols) or to the Monastery of Aberconway
(Williams's History oj Aberconwy, etc., and Pennant).
36 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
portion of central, south, and east Carnarvonshire. It
would also go far to prove that the monastery at Bedd-
gelert (p. 54) was a branch of the Abbey of Aberconway.
In addition to their enormous endowments, the monks of
Aberconway had many exceptional rights and privileges,
including perpetual exemption from keeping men, horses,
dogs, or hawks for the Prince's service, and from giving
entertainment to himself, " or any lay person on pretence
of custom." They were allowed to choose their own
abbot, without interference. All wrecks "pon their land
belonged to them, and in case any of their vessels were
wrecked on the Prince's land, they could recover the
same. They were also free from tolls, and were entitled
to a free passage over the ferries of Menai, Conway,
Abermawddach, and Dyfi. The Prince had no juris-
diction over them in any of his Courts, except according
to their own rules. They were allowed to receive any
person into the monastery ; and, if any monk borrowed
money without the consent of the abbot, the monastery
was not answerable for it. All these and several other
privileges were secured for them by the charter dated
from Aberconway, A.D. 1198, and witnessed by lorwerth
Gam and Gwyn ab Ednywain Ydon, his chaplain.
The monastery, in addition, had extensive fisheries
reaching up the estuary of the Conway, and also at
Llandrillo yn Rhos, where the " Gorad" or Weir still
exists, and the tenant has still to reserve the " takes" of
the tenth day for the benefit of the vicar of Llandrillo.
Near the " Gorad" there is a small cell and well, where
it is said that a monk prayed daily for the success of the
fishery (p. 49). Like other monasteries, the Abbey of
Aberconway1 was the depository of the public Acts. All
important matters happening in Wales were recorded in
the Abbeys of Aberconway, in North Wales, and Ystrad-
fflur, in South Wales. Every third year the records of the
two monasteries were compared together by the existing
bards, when going on their visitations. This continued
until about 1270 A.D. Unfortunately, in the case of the
Abbey of Aberconway, there is every probability that
1 History of Aberconwy, Pennant, etc.
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 37
all the valuable documents stored there were destroyed
(up to 1245), during the siege of Deganwy Castle by
Henry III. Matthew Paris gives the following account
of the sack of the Abbey on that date, his information
being obtained through the report of a courtier present
with the King on the occasion. It seems the King was
reduced to great straits :—
"The King with his army is encamped at Gannock (Deganwy), and
is busy fortifying that place (sufficiently strong already) about
which we lay in our tents, in watching, fasting, and praying, and
freezing. We watch for fear of the Welsh . . . . , we fast for
want of provision . . . . , we pray that we may speedily return
safe, and scot-free home, and we freeze for want of winter gar-
ments There is a small arm of the sea under the Castle
where we lay This arm lies betwixt us and Snowdon, where
the Welsh are encamped ; it is in breadth, when the tide is in,
about a bow-shot. Now it happened that upon Monday before
Michaelmas day, an Irish vessel came to the mouth of the haven,
with provision to be sold in the camp, which being negligently
looked after by the mariners, was upon the low ebb stranded
on the other side. . . . The enemy perceiving this, descended
from the mountains, and laid siege to the ship, which was fast on
the dry sands/'
Then he describes the sending of some border Welsh,
etc.. to rescue the ship. The Welsh withdrew on their
approach, and retired, pursued for about two miles by the
borderers, who slew a great number of them.
" In their return back our soldiers being too covetous, and greedy
of plunder, spoiled the Abbey of Aberconwy, and burnt all the
books, and other choice utensils belonging to it. The Welsh being
distracted by these irreligious practices got together in great
number, and in a desperate manner setting upon the English,
killed a great number of them, and following the rest to the water
side, forced as many as could not escape into the boats," etc.1
In this skirmish several men of note were killed, in-
cluding Richard, Earl of Cornwall, Sir Allan Buscell,
Sir Adam de Maio, Sir GeofFry Estuany, and others,
and about lt)0 soldiers, so retribution came quickly upon
them for their sacrilege. The monastery itself was
1 Williams's History of Aberconwy, etc.
3£ ABBEYS AND CONVENTS Ot'
supposed to have occupied most of the space in the
centre of the town, and probably the present Castle
Street and High Street would represent the boundary
on two sides, and the small street passing by ' Ty
Gwyrdd " on the west, and the Holyhead and Chester
road the other two sides. Unfortunately, there are no
remains now that could be positively identified with
In Pennant's time there existed a " long vaulted room
of good masonry, and worked with clay, but plastered
with lime, and a Saxon door". They were taken down
about fifty years ago. In the churchyard at the same
date there was an ancient tombstone, ornamented with a
" crois fleuris", but it had no inscription. In 1832
another one was found with a plain cross cut on it, when
making some improvement in the Castle Hotel yard. A
stone font was also discovered about 1870 at the back of
a house just below the Castle Hotel, all which help to indi-
cate the position of a portion of the monastic buildings.
In cutting drains, etc., in the streets, many skeletons were
found, but it is possible they might have been those of
people who died of the plague in 1607. Several illus-
trious persons were buried in the Abbey, including the
founder, Llewelyn the Great, in 1246. In 1200, Griffith
ab Cynan ab Owen Gwynedd was buried here, in a
monk's cowl, from superstitious motives. Llewelyn ap
Maelgwyn Gwynedd was also buried here in 1230. The
great Llewelyn's stone coffin was removed to Maenan
Abbey, and it is now to be seen at the Gwydir Chapel
(attached to Llanrwst parish church), p. 45.
The parish church of Conway has no pretensions to
architectural beauty, but is a large structure, and part of
it seems very ancient. The length of the church is
116 ft, and the breadth 58 ft., without the transepts.
There are many interesting monuments in the church.
One is in memory of Robert Wynn (of Gwydir), who
built Plas Mawr. Several of the Hollands and Hookes
were also buried here. Only one of the four original
bells remains. This large bell bears the inscription
"ave fidelis dia Werburga, santissima felix in choro
Virginum"; below this is " Ora pro nobis".
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTKICT.
THE ABBEY OF MAENAN (OTHERWISE ABERCONWY).
The above monastery was removed from Conway in
1283, when it became a garrison town, and it was found
inconvenient to have a monastic institution in the town.
Edward I (among other changes) became patron of
the monks on their removal to Maenan, where he
built them another house, and added largely to their
possessions, in exchange for properties in and about
Conway. The change was confirmed by a bull of Pope
Nicholas IV in 1289, the new abbey still retaining its
ancient name of Conway, and was so called even till the
time of its dissolution — temp. Henry VIII.
The new possessions mentioned in the confirmed
charter of Edward I (in exchange for certain properties,
as above) appear to have consisted of the township of
Maenan, in Carnarvonshire, extending as far as the county
boundary at Wernburys on the east, and Nanhwrach1
on the south east. In fact, the monastic boundary and
the present boundary of the county of Carnarvon, on
the east side of the Conway, are identical. Together
with that property it appears that a portion of the
County of Denbigh, as far as the river Erythlyn, was
On the west side of the river all the meadow land
between the Carrog (old) river and Eigiau river, con-
sisting of 600 or 700 acres, was also included, and is
described as "de Talepont" (Talybont is the name of the
district). That property is still extra-parochial and free
of tithes, like the rest of the abbey lands proper.
In treating of the grants to the older monastery, I
should have added the lands south and east of Capel
Garrnon, which appear to have extended from Rhydlaii-
fair by Voelas Kernianc to the top of Moel Seissianc,
above the village of Pentre Voelas, and from the Voel
as far as Llyn Alwen, and (probably) nearly as far as
1 Probably the lordship of Wenlli.— ED.
2 It is possible that all the townships of Eglwysfach, with the
exception of Trefodnant, belonged to the Abbey. The tithes now
belong to the Llanrwst Grammar School, etc.
40 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
Cerrigydruidion. The names are very obscure, but it
seems likely that they all come under the denominations
-Tir Ifan, Tir Abbat, Tubrys, etc.
The property was very extensive, but probably almost
in a state of nature at that time.
These last-named properties close the long catalogue
of lands belonging to the two monasteries. There is
nothing to show the extent of the Abbey of Maenan,
but it must have been considerable. At present there
is absolutely nothing left of the monastery, except
an arch of sandstone about 9 ft. high, the stones of
which were re-dressed (when the old house was pulled
down), and it was inserted in a wall at the back of
the house, and one " gargoyle " which may now be seen
in the wall on the south side of the present house. The
mansion is modern, having been built in 1848-52. The
writer remembers, in the old house that stood between
the present house and the small river, a long vaulted
brick cellar with the Gothic arch, above mentioned,
at the end, bricked up. Whether it was simply an
ordinary passage, or a portion of the crypt, it is im-
possible to tell, but it certainly had formed a part of the
old abbey. In building the present house it was pulled
down with the old manor house. There are at present
two very large underground rooms about 10 ft. high,
under an old building at the back of the present house,
which apparently have never been explored, so it is
impossible to say whether they formed part of the old
abbey or not. In digging the foundations of a green-
house (near the place where the present tower stands) a
great number of skeletons were dug up about eighty
years ago, buried close together, so they were probably
within the walls of the monastery.
The writer has in his possession a large panel, painted
in oil, probably in the middle of the last century, showing
the old house and grounds, the latter laid out after the
Dutch style. Its age must be great, as, in the place
where two enormous evergreen oaks stood, up to a few
years ago, there is represented a neat garden with a
summer-house in the centre. The names of one or two
fields are suggestive of the monastic nature of the place
THE VALE OF CON WAY AND DISTRICT. 41
such as " Cae Person", " Cae Gwenllian" (the field of the
White Nun), etc. Five skeletons were exhumed in
digging the foundation of the present tower, which must
be very near the spot where the other bones were found.
Judging by the appearance of the surrounding land, there
must have been between twelve to fifteen acres of grounds
and garden. We have no record of the fate of the MSS.
stored in this Abbey, but it is possible that some of them
may have been carried away by the last Abbot, and
Members of the Kyffin family are still in possession of
the manor and hall of Maenan (p. Gl). It has puzzled
many how, under the law of celibacy, it was possible that
the present members could be descended from the above
Abbot, but if there is any truth in the note on the
subject (on p. 61), one may be brought to believe in its
Many years ago there were a good many poisonous
plants (useful medicinally), growing luxuriantly in the
garden, grounds, and woods, such as aconite (Monks-
hood), spurge laurel, savin, etc. Occasionally, belladonna
atropa appears mysteriously at long intervals, also hen-
bane. Besides these, I might name several harmless and
useful simples which flourished there. The appearance
of the above plants must convince us that, amongst other
useful qualities, the monks had a considerable knowledge
of medicine, and their disappearance must have been a
calamity to the surrounding ignorant inhabitants. There
are absolutely no local traditions about the Maenan
Abbey, and it is one of the most extreme cases of utter
disappearance from the face of the earth : illustrating
Prospero's remark as to earth's palaces, etc., that " like
the baseless fabric of a vision", they disappear and
" leave not a wrack behind".
On the dissolution of the monasteries, the property of
the monks of Aberconwy, was disposed of by the Com-
missioners appointed by the King. The members were
Cad'r Wynne, of Voelas (p. 57), Ellis Price, of Giler
(" Dr. Coch"), and other Welshmen of note. It appears
that Elizeus Wynn, of Melai, applied for and obtained
a grant of the Abbey lands surrounding the monastery.
The grant was confirmed by Queen Elizabeth. Subse-
quently, it was sold to Clough, of Denbigh, and finally,
by the marriage of William Wynne, Esq., of Melai, with
Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir Rd. Clough, the estate
came back to the Melai family. This Mary died 1632.
Elizeus Wynne applied for grants of a great number of
forfeited monastic estates in England and Wales. Some
of these properties were subsequently sold, one estate
being that of the Franciscan monks of Llanfaer (or
Friars) Beaumaris, which was bought by Mr. Rowland
White. It is now the property of Sir Richard Wm.
Elizeus Wynn, amongst other properties (mentioned
in " the requests to purchase"), applied for the grant of
a large property in Salop, that of the monks of St. Peter
and St. Paul, Oswestry, and Oswestry Church, Charleston
Priory of St. Jares, Wilts., land in Garthgynan, (at one
time the property of the Earl of Kent), Rectory of
Knaresdale, Northumberland, Gedding, Notts., chantry
lands at Whalley, Derby (late priory of Derby), Stanley,
Woodbridge, Derby (late monastery of " Grace Dieu"),
monastery of St. Andrew, Northampton. It is not
known how far Elizeus's very modest " requests" were
complied with. At present, the Maenan (Abbey) pro-
perty is the only monastic estate held by the Wynns of
Glynllifon ("Enlli" excepted). The Maenan manor (and
hall) is still held by the legitimate descendant of the
last abbot, Mr. Lenthall Kyffin Lenthall (p. 61).
The Abbey lands, being extra-parochial, are free of
tithes, as likewise the meadow lands on the Carnarvon-
shire side of the Conway river. On the dissolution of
Maenan Abbey, the beautiful " rood-loft"1 (or screen),
was brought to the Llanrwst parish church (St. Grwst,
sometimes called the " Church of Restitution"), which is
said to have been built by Rhyn ap Nefydd Hardd to
condone the murder of Idwal ap Owen Gwynedd, at the
instigation of Nefydd Hardd. It is a curious fact that
the " loft" is placed with the " Holy Rood", facing the
1 Mr. Harold Hughes, of London and Bangor, Architect, has
declared this rood-loft to be of the fourteenth century.
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 43
west instead of the altar ; and it is said that this was
done by the fanatical reformers "to do spite to the
Papists". The carved work is very fine, and there are
several portions of the fretwork above the arches, under-
neath the loft, that must have some meaning in them.
In the Gwydir Chapel, attached to the church, is to be
seen the stone coffin of the great benefactor of the Abbey
of Aberconwy, and also an effigy of Howel Coetmor.
Some writers will have it that the church was built
by St. Grwst,1 son of Gwaeth Hengaer ap Elfin ap
Urien, whose mother was Euronwy, daughter of Cyndno
Eiddyn ap Cynwyd Cynwydior ap Cynfelyn (Cymbe-
line). It is said that the church was burnt in the
latter part of the fifteenth century, and afterwards
rebuilt.2 It was restored in 1843-4, and a transept was
added to it in 1886-7.
GWTDIR CHAPEL, LLANWRST.
This beautiful structure was erected in the year 1633
by Sir Richard Wynne, of Gwydir, from a design of
Inigo Jones, and was for many years the burial-place of
the illustrious family of Gwydir. At the sides of the
chapel, fixed in panels of wood, are several engravings on
brass, illustrative of the personages who are interred
below ; and in the east corner is a tablet of white marble,
1 Williams, in his Observations on the, Snowdon Mountains, says :
" Amongst the recluses who fled to the Welsh mountains, in the
sixth and seventh centuries, when the Picts and Saxons made such
ravages and havoc in England and Scotland, we find one called Grwst
Lledlwm, probably from austerity, for Lled-lwm means poorly or
raggedly clothed ; and he, it may be presumed, was the founder of
Llariwrst Church." This was 500 years before Rhun's time.
2 The first edifice was burnt down in the year 1469, on the occasion
of Earl Herbert's terrible " raid " through the Vale of Con way in the
interests of Edward IV, in revenge for the desolation committed by
" Davfydd ab Siencyn,* of the Lancastrian faction". The main part of
the present church was built about 1470, and Gwydir Chapel was
added as a transept, by Sir Richd. Wynn, Bart., in 1633.
* This Dafydd ap Siencyn was of the Wernfaur, Lleyn family, and
the ancestor of the late Sir Love Jones Parry, of Madryn.
44 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
containing the following remarkable pedigree, comprising
a period of 500 years.
" This Chapel was erected A.D. 1633, by Sir Eichard Wynne of
Cuvdir, in the County of Carnarvon, Knight .and Baronet,
Treasurer to the High and Mighty Princess Henrietta Maria,
Queen of England, Daughter of Henry the Fourth, King of France,
& Wife to our Sovereign Lord King Charles ; where lyeth buried
his Father Sir John Wynne of Gwydir, Knight and Baronet, Son
and Heir to Morris Wynne, Son and Heir ta John Wynne, Son
and Heir to Meredith Wynne, which three lies buried in the
Church of Dolwyddelan, witli Tombs over them. This Meredith
was Son and Heir to Evan, Sou and Heir to Robert, Son and Heir
to Meredith, Son and Heir to Howell, Son and Heir to David, Son
and Heir to Griffith, Son and Heir to Caradock, Son and Heir to
Roderick, Lord of Anglesea, Son to Owen Gwynedd, Prince of
Wales, and younger brother to David, Prince of Wales, who
married Emma Plantaginet, sister to King Henry the Second.
There succeeded this David three Princes ; his nephew Leolinus
Magnus, who married Joan Daughter to King John — David his
Sou, Nephew to King Henry the Third — and Llewelyn, the last
Prince of Wales of that House and line, who lived in King
Edward the Firsts time. Sir John Wynne married Sydney, who
Ivt-th buried here, Daughter of Sir William Gerrard, Knight, Lord
Chancellor of Ireland, by whom he had issue, Sir John Wynne,
who died at Lucca, in Italy, Sir Richard Wynne, now living,
Thomas Wynne, who lyeth here, Owen Wynne, now living, Robert
Wynne, who lyeth here, Roger Wynne who lyeth here, William
Wynne now living, Maurice Wynne now living. Ellis Wynne, who
lyeth buried at Whitford, in the County of Flint, Henry Wynne
now living, Roger Wynne who lyeth here, and two Daughters,
Mary now living, married to Sir Roger Mostyn in the County of
Flint, Knight, and Elizabeth now living, married to Sir John
Bodville, in the County of Carnarvon, Knight."
Beneath this is a superb engraving on brass of Dame
Sarah Wynne, one of the daughters of the old Chevalier
Sir Thomas Middleton, of Chirk Castle, and wife of the
above-mentioned Sir Richard Wynne — she died June
16th, 1671. This piece of engraving was executed by
one William Vaughan in a style of elegance not often
met with, and may be justly reckoned among the first
productions of the age in which he lived.
On the south side are two stately pyramidal columns
of variegated marble, decorated with martial insignias,
one to the memory of Meredith Wynne, the other to
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 45
Sir John Wynne and Sydney his wife ; on their pedestals
are Latin inscriptions on black marble, which have been
thus translated :
"To the Memory of Meredith Wynne, a descendant of Owen
Gwynedd, Prince of Wales, who, under happy auspices, founded the
House of Gwydir, removed and endowed the Church of Sant Gwy-
ddelan, during the third Tournean Expedition, in the fifth year of
Henry the Eighth. He died in the month of March, 1525."
"•To the Memory of John Wynne of Gwydir, Knight and Baronet,
with Sydney the Daughter of William Gerrard, Knight, Chancellor, of
the Kingdom of Ireland, the wife of his youth, to whom she bore
eleven sons, and two daughters : they lie here waiting the appearance
of Christ in Glory."
Between the above monuments is a small tablet of
white marble to the memory of John Wynne ap Meredith,
with a Latin inscription to the following effect : —
" John Wynne ap Meredith, an Inheritor of his Father's virtues, a
just and pious Man, to whom Euna his wife brought five sons and two
daughters. He died the 9th of July, 1559."
On the floor is a stone effigy in armour, with the feet
resting on a lion couchant, of Howell Coetmore ap
Griffith Vychan ap Dafydd Gam, alias Goch, natural
son to David, Prince of Wales, from whose descendants,
according to tradition, Gwydir was purchased by the
Near to the effigy of Howell Coetmore is the under-
part of a stone coffin in which Llewelyn ap lorwerth,
surnamed the Great, the son-in-law of King John, was
buried at the Abbey of Conway ; to the coffin is fixed a
piece of brass with this inscription :—
" This is the Coffin of Leolinus Magnus, Prince of Wales, who was
buried at the Abbey of Conway, which upon the dissolution was re-
On going from the chapel to the church you pass over
a large square flag of freestone, having on its sides a
Latin inscription, thus translated : —
" To the Memory of the Sons of John Wynne of Gwydir, Knight and
Baronet, who died during their Father's lifetime : John, Knight, was
buried at Lucca, in the free State of Italy, in the year of his age 30, of
1 The lid of the coffin is missing, as in many similar cases.
46 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
our Lord 1613. Robert, who had entered into holy orders, in the
year of his age 24, of our Lord 1617. Thomas : Roger : Thomas : in
their minority. — Death ! A vapour ! Behold ! we have existed."
In the chancel, between the reading-desk and the
communion table, is a flag of freestone, over the remains
of Margaret Vaughan, heiress of Caergai ; she was
esteemed the Sappho of her age, many of her poetical
productions are still extant.
Under the rood-screen, in the church, is a Latin
epitaph to the memory of Griffith Lloyd, of Bryniog,
rector of this parish; this is said to have been written
by himself, and has been much admired for its singu-
larity : it runs thus :—
" Once the undeserving School-Master,
Then the more undeserving Lecturer,
And last of all, the most undeserving Rector of this Parish.
Do not think, speak, or write anything evil of the Dead."
GOGARTH ABBEY, LLANDUDNO.
The exact site of the Abbey is not known, but it is
supposed to have been at some distance from the place
where the present old church stands.1 It is said to have
been built in the sixth century, and if that was the case,
it must have been an extensive institution, as a great
portion of the land between Gogarth and Anglesey had
not then been submerged. It belonged to the Bishops of
Bangor, and must in any case have been very ancient, as
it was in ruins before Leland's time. The latter says :
" Ther is by Con way an arme like a peninsula called
Gogarth, lying against Priestholine, and ther be the
Ruines of a Place of the Bishops of Bangor." The
manor of Gogarth extends across the estuary- to the
The present church is dedicated to St. Tudno (sixth
century) ; he was one of the sons of Seithinen, King of
the Plain of Gwyddno Garanhir, whose land was inun-
dated. He was a saint of Bangor Dunod, at Bano-or
1 The supposed ruins of the Abbey are still to be seen at Gogarth
2 Williams's History of Aberconivy," etc.
THE VALE OF CON WAY AND DISTRICT. 47
Is y Coed. The old screen in the church is of great
antiquity. It is supposed to have been brought from
Gogarth Abbey (or chapel). With considerable proba-
bility it is said that up to the sixth century, when
the great inundation of Helig ab Glanawg's land took
place, between Bangorfawr and Trwyn-Gogarth, all was
rich meadow laud, and that the river Conway must have
forced its way direct to the sea instead of round by
Mochdre and Penrhyn mawr, its (supposed) original
course. The late Rev. H. Longueville Jones was of
opinion that St. Tudno's Church was of the eleventh
century. The walls appear to have been built with
alternate courses of large and small stones : a style often
met with in early masonry. This description of work
extends about half the distance between the east and
west. The other half is not built in a similar manner,
which fact would seem to indicate that the two portions
were built at different periods. The building is 67 ft. by
16|- ft. During the great storm of January 1839, the
roof was blown off. After that a new and more con-
venient church, dedicated to St. George, was erected
in the (then) small village of Llandudno. At a more
recent date the old church was repaired,1 and divine
service is held there every Sunday during the season.2
This is a very old church. The original building was
erected by (and dedicated to) Cystenyn, the son of
Cynfor, who was elected to the royal dignity by the
Britons, A.D. 390. Pope Nicholas, in his taxation, A.D.
1291, describes it as a chapel of Abergele. It is possible
it might have been, before the removal of the Abbey of
Aberconwy, a chapel attached to that monastery.
Llanelian Church is dedicated to Eilianus (Geineiad), a
1 The latest renovation was taken in hand by the late Mr. Reece,
of Plas Tudno, as a thank-offering for the restoration to health of his
only daughter, Mrs. Farrant. Among the many monuments which
stud the very picturesque churchyard is that of one of the sons of
the late Mr. John Bright, M.P.
2 Williams's History oj Aberconwy," etc.
48 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
saint of the sixth century. He was a son of Gallger
Kieddawg ap Cyngu, ap Ysbwys ab Cadroed Calchfy-
nydd. His mother wa?, Canna, daughter of Tewdwr
Mawr ap Eniyr Llydaw. He also founded Llaneilian in
ST. MARY'S CHAPEL, PENRHYN MAWR.
This was a private chapel belonging to the (originally)
powerful family of the Pughs, of Penrhyn Mawr. At
present it forms a part of the farm buildings. It is
about 25 ft. by 15 ft. The altar-table, which was to be
seen many years ago, was of stone. This chapel, by a
grant of Pope Nicholas, enjoyed three-fourths of the
tithes of Penrhyn. The Pughs professed the Roman
Catholic religion for a long time after the Reformation,
and a priest was always kept to officiate in the chapel
for the benefit of the family and a few Romanist neigh-
bours. There is a curious tradition with regard to this
circumstance, current in the neighbourhood, to the effect
that the Roman Catholics of that part formed a con-
spiracy to put to death all the Protestants in Creuddyn,
and it was arranged for a body of men to arrive on
a certain night at a certain spot indicated. A man
employed at Gloddaeth was informed by a girl in service
at Penrhyn Mawr of what was going on, and gave the
alarm. A messenger was immediately sent from Glod-
daeth for assistance, and a troop of horse soon arrived,
and Penrhyn Mawr was surrounded. Some of the
inmates escaped, whilst others were taken. The priest
who plotted the matter escaped for the time, but was
subsequently arrested in a cave in Rhiwledur rock.
He was said to have been hanged, drawn, and quartered
in a field below the house, and his name, Sir William
Guy, is still traditionally preserved.1
This church still enjoys the tithes of the fishes caught
in the Rhos y Mynach weir, in succession probably to
the monks of Aberconwy. There is a small cell and
1 History of Aberconwy.
TBE VALE OF CON WAY AND DISTRICT. 49
well near the place, where it is said (when it was
monastic property) a monk daily prayed for the success
of the fishery (p. 36).
(The Rev. Venables Williams, Vicar, still claims the
This is a very ancient church. There is a tradition
that Maelgwyn Gwynedd died in the church of the
Plague (Y " Fad felen").1
Gwytherin was the founder of this church. He was
the son of Dragan ap Nadd Hael, a saint who flourished
in the sixth century. It is said that in very early times
a nunnery was founded here, dedicated to St. Winifred.
There is a tradition that St. Winifred was buried here
after her (reputed) second death, on the decease of
St. Beuno (of Holywell) ; according to tradition she was
warned by a voice to call on St. Dufer at Bodfari ; by
him she was directed to go to St. Saturnus at Henllan,
and by Saturnus' instruction she went for a final retreat
to Gwytherin. Here, it is said, she founded a convent of
nuns, and, on the death of the Abbess Theonia, succeeded
to the high charge. By a miracle wrought, as was
supposed, by her intercession on a monk of Shrewsbury,
the abbot of the latter monastery determined on the
translation of her remains to his place. Over this
matter there appears to have been great trouble, the
inhabitants of Gwytherin refusing to part with their
treasure. However, the aggressors were eventually suc-
cessful, and carried her remains in triumph to Shrews-
bury. There are in the churchyard three upright stones,
1 This event was predicted by Taliesin in the well-known lines : —
" Fe ddaw pryf rhyfedd
O forfa rhianedd, etc., etc."*
(See Williams's History of Aberconwy.)
* "A strange creature shall come from the Morfa (= Marsh)
Rhianedd". Is this an adumbration of the " germ" theory?
50 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
one of which is inscribed, the words being : "Vimcomagli,
til. Seueniagli." Many pilgrims1 come to Gwytherin
in the summer, and they seem to have a very great
veneration for the stones, which they appear to identify
with the nunnery. There was an old hand-bell in the
old church, probably a " sanctus " bell. In the neigh-
bourhood, " Llwyn Saint " is a suggestive name. The
parish chest, or " Cyff," within the altar-rails is one
of the oldest in Wales, and consists of a single tree-
trunk hollowed out, and bound with iron hoops, showing
signs of great antiquity. It is exactly similar to " Cyff
Beuno " at Clynnog.2
YSPYTTY IFAN (OR IAVAN).
This was in the olden time a hospital of St. John of
Jerusalem. To a great extent it was used as an " asylum
and guard" for travellers in the then inhospitable and
uncultivated neighbourhood, under the protection of the
knights who held the manor. On the Order being
abolished, the " privilege of sanctuary" was grossly
abused, and it became a nest of outlaws, who were
supposed to consist mostly of the disbanded ruffianly
soldiers of the " White and Red Roses". The traditions
respecting the outrages committed by these bandits still
exist in the neighbourhood, and Sir John Wynn3 gives
a graphic account of the trouble his great ancestor,
Meredydd ab Jeuan, had with them for many years.
The latter eventually obtained permission to destroy
this " nest of infamy", and he appears to have done it
very effectually. In this he was assisted by his kinsman,
Dafydd ab Siencyn (p. 43), the ex-outlaw, who had
been protected by Meredydd ab Jeuan, during his out-
lawry, at " Garreg y Wialchen", near Gwydir.
In the " Taicroesion" Pedigrees, Dafydd ab Siencyn
is described as having been outlawed for killing the
" Steward of the King's (Edward IV) Chamberlain".
1 Most of the above-mentioned pilgrims conie from Holywell and
St. Asaph, Manchester, Liverpool, etc.
- Pemutnt, etc.
•' History of Gwydir Family.
THE VALE OF CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 51
The outlaws, or rather the remnant of them, subsequently
settled in Dinas-Mawddwy, where they became the
terror of the neighbourhood. Eventually, after the tragic
death of Baron Lewis Owen (1555), they were utterly
exterminated. The present church was restored by the
Rt. Hon. Lord Penrhyn some years ago. The walls of
a portion of the old building were very substantial, and
it is possible they may have formed a portion of the
" Hospitium". There are a few interesting monuments
in the church, notably those of Rhys Mawr ap Mredydd,
standard-bearer to Henry VII at Bosworth, another to
Robert ap Rhys, cross-bearer and chaplain to Cardinal
Wolsey, and a third to Lowry, wife of the above-noted
Rhys. Several names of places in the neighbourhood
are suggestive of the sanctity of the place, such as Rhyd
y Saint (above the bridge), and Penrhyn Saint. There
is a tradition that " Bryn y cropian" on the hill (Car-
narvonshire side), marks the place where guilty parties
had to commence their penance, by going on their hands
and knees from that spot to the sanctuary ! Tradition
also points to the present house, " Tynyporth", as being
the entrance into the Hospitium. About a hundred
years ago there was a small chapel belonging to Llanefydd
Church, opposite Pentrevoelas, where occasional services
were held. It has since then entirely disappeared.
(Some say it was known as " Llan Nefydd fechan".)1
Dr. Ellis Price, of Plasiolyn, was of this parish. He
was greatly disliked and feared in his neighbourhood.
He took his LL.D degree at Cambridge, of which
University lie' was a member, and was engaged in a
controversy with Throgmorton, in a contention in which
Caius, in his Antiquities of Cambridgeshire, says he got
the best of it. He and his colleague, Cadwaladr ab
Morys of Voelas, managed to obtain most of the monastic
lands in the neighbourhood, including Tir Ifan, Tir
Abbat, the livings of Llandrillo yn Rhos, and Llan-
uwchlyn. He was well known as a subservient creature
of Leicester's in Elizabeth's time.
1 Williams's Enwogion Cymru.
.-)•_» ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
This church, which appears to have been restored
within the last century, was dedicated to St. Bride, or
Ffraid, who is said to have floated " 6r werceclon ar y
douen" (from Ireland on the waves), and landed here ;
and her legend, according to " lorwerth Vynglwyd",
an eminent poet of the fifteenth century, was to the
effect that, at a time of great scarcity, through her
prayer and intercession, the rushes on the river banks
became fishes, which are still known as " brwyniaid",
and which are only found in three rivers in Great
Britain, the Conway, the Eden, and one of the Scotch
rivers. A sister of Archbishop Williams, wife of Sir
Peter Mutton, or Mytton, Chief Justice of North Wales,
was buried here.
BWLCH Y MAEN, PENMACHNO.
There are ruins in a meadow below the above house,
that would suggest that there was an amount of truth
in the tradition that there existed at one time some kind
of monastery there. The last tenant told a friend of the
writer that he had found several relics there in clearing
the rubbish. According to an old legend, the place
was burnt down by the bigoted "-reformers" in
Henry VIII's time, and the stones were carried up the
hill to build the present house.2 Several Roman roads
and British " bridle-paths" passed this place. One is
still called Rhiw yr Y chain ; another bridle-path passed
through Bryndedwydd to Rhyd yr arian, and it can be
traced on to Denbigh. This was used up to one hundred
years ago. A Roman readied to Llynhelsi, where there
was a tavern formerly, according to tradition. There
was also a path along the hill above Taurallt to Fedwdeg,
and on to Bwlchgarregyfrau, and then to Cwm Pen-
treigl, Harddlech. This was called Dafydd ap Gruffydd's
1 St. Ffraid(Leian), was the daughter of Cadwithai, or Cadwthlach
Wyddel. The Irish accounts state that she was born at Fochard,
County of Louth, A.D. 453 (Williams's Eminent Welshmen).
2 From MSS belonging formerly to Price Downes, Esq., of Hendre-
scethyn, Bettsw y Coed, etc.
THE VALE OF COKWAY AtfD DISTRICT. 53
path. In clearing one of these roads or paths, the rocks
underneath were found greatly worn by the traffic. About
one hundred years ago there was also a blacksmith's shop
on the side of one of the above roads. These paths, and
roads all passing this place, would lead us to suppose
that there was a necessity for a house for rest and refresh-
ment, monastic or otherwise. The old parish church of
Llantyddid was also situated in this neighbourhood.
Sir John Wynn of Gwydir,1 or an ancestor of his,
obtained permission to divide the parish, which was very
extensive, adding the larger portion to Dolwyddelen and
the smaller to Penmachno. One tradition connects this
place with Bethgelert Priory.
There are no other remains in the Lledr Valley besides
the above named. There is, however, a place above the
village of Dolwyddelen having the suggestive name of
" Hafod Gwenllian" (White Nun).
There are traditions to the effect that there were
" cells" (or other small institutions), at Cynwal, Rhiwbach,
and Cwmtybugail, in the hills above Cwm Penmachno.
The original church of Penmachno2 was dedicated
to St. Tyddid, and the building lay about twenty or
thirty yards to the north of the present church. A
portion of the walls was uncovered in making some exca-
vations some years ago. The present church was restored
by the Rt. Hon. Lord Penrhyn, about thirty years ago.
CAPEL CURIG AND LLYGWY VALLEY.
St. Curig3 was said to be a son of Lleudden, of
Edinburgh, who is registered amongst the Welsh or
1 The present church was moved from the hill above, called Bryn y-
bedd, by M'redydd ap Jeuan of Penannen, Sir John Wynn's ancestor,
to its present position, in the fifteenth century.
2 The celebrated Bishop Morgan, of St. Asaph, who translated the
Bible into Welsh, was born at Wybr-nant, about a mile up in the
hills above the Bwlch y Mawr river. Pennant states that the
Dolwyddelen church was once an impropriation of the Abbey of
3 Some authorities are of opinion that St. Curig founded the old
church of Llangurig (Mont.), which was restored some years ago
through the munificence of the late Chevalier Lloyd, of Clochfaen. It is
possible that Curig (Lwyd), or the Blessed, might have founded both.
54 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS Otf
British saints. The tradition is that he landed at
Aberystwyth, and subsequently settled at Capel Cung,
where he built the original chapel. The present church
owes its endowment to the "Queen Anne's Bounty."
One place near has the successive name of " Gell y
Mynach". The old church on the west side of the
Llygwy is a " chapel-of-ease" to the parish of Llandegai.
The new church was built a few years ago through the
liberality of the Penrhyn and Gwydir families, and is
situated in the parish of Llanrhychwyn. About two
miles lower down the valley there are evidences of the
existence of a large building at one time. The remains
are to be seen in a field belonging to Bryngefeilin,
opposite Dolgam. The tradition that it was of monastic
origin is rather obscure, and Mr. Lysons (who carefully
examined the place) and other antiquaries were of
opinion that it bore a far greater resemblance to a
Koman building. The tradition respecting the place
will always remain doubtful. In clearing the ruins some
years ago, lead piping and other relics were found.
BETHGELERT PRIORY (pp. 36, 61).
Although this monastery is not situated in the Vale of
Conway, there can be no great harm in giving a few
particulars respecting it, especially as there is a strong
probability that there was some connection between it
and the Abbey of Aberconwy. In the year 1284 the
Priory of Beddgelert was accidentally burnt down, and
the charters and other valuable documents were destroyed,
so that it is impossible to give a reliable account of the
place previous to the above date. Its destruction was
considered a great calamity at the time. Anian, Bishop
of Bangor, informed Edward I of the destruction of the
monastery,, and begged of him to rebuild the whole
structure, and to confirm the lost charter. The King
acceded to the request.1 Einion ap Engan, the Bishop
of Bangor (1268), was in great favour with the King,
and received many gifts and privileges from him. In
1280 the latter gave him a house in London called
1 AlUyd Eifion.
THE VALE Of CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 55
Bangor House, in Shoe Lane, near St. Andrew's
Church, Holborn. The subsequent history of the
Bedd^elert monastery is not well known, and is mostly
This place, which is now the property of J. E. Scott-
Bankes, Esq., of Sychtyn, is at present a farm-house.
There is a tradition that there was, in old times, a chapel
or chantry there, probably in connection with one of the
larger abbeys. There is a place near the house called
Buarth-tal-Eglwys. The fishery of the Beaver Pool, on
the Conway, belonged to the farm, and probably the
salmon trap on the Lledr also, at one time. The Pool is
rented from Mr. Scott-Bankes by Lord Willoughby
d'Eresby.1 It is said that part of the present house
formed a portion of the chantry.
BETTWS Y COED, OR BETTWS WYRION IDDON, IN THE
HUNDRED OF CONWAY AND CAPEL CURIG.
It is very difficult to decide whether the Iddon above-
mentioned was Iddon ap Ner, who lived in the sixth
century, and was killed in battle by Maelgwyn Gwynedd,
or Iddon ap Yuyr, of Gwent, Prince of South Wales,
who defeated the Saxons on the occasion of their attacks
upon South Wales, and in commemoration of his victory
gave, as a thank-offering, properties in the parishes
of Llanarth. Llandeilo, Porthlalawg, etc., to the Bishop-
ric of Llandaff. A great deal has been written about
the origin of the word " Bettws." Some are of opinion
that it refers to the religious institutions founded by
St. Beuno, and that it is a corruption of the word
" Beatus." Others are of opinion that the name is
derived from the word "Abbatis," an appendage to a
monastery or abbey. The most popular explanation
given is that the word means a "Bead house", or
" Bader-dy", signifying a hospital or almshouse, " where
the poor prayed for their founders and benefactors."
Professor Rhys, however, seems to doubt the explana-
1 Now the Earl of Ancaster.
56 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
tion. The name occurs very frequently in North and
South Wales, and the fact of their being generally
placed within seven or eight miles of some large monastic
establishment would suggest the idea that they were
sites of hostels, or rest-houses, for the barefooted monks
and friars. The old Church of St. Michael is of small
dimensions, and is said to have been built in 1219. It
was partly restored in 1843.
There are no ruins in the neighbourhood.
This was a chapel-of-ease to the church of Llanrwst,
and was dedicated to St. Germain (or Gannon), one
of the early missionaries of the British Church. He
was the son of Rhedyn, otherwise Kidicus or Rhedygus,
and uncle to Emyr Llydaw. Some years ago an agree-
ment was made to allocate a certain portion of the tithes
of the parish of Llanrwst to the endowment of Capel
Garmon, which is now a parish by itself. In addition to
the tithes, it is endowed with a grant of land made
by Mr. Thomas Wynne, of Llwynan, in 1676.
LLANRHTCHWYN, TREFRIW, ETC.
Llanrhychwyn was the original parish church, and
it is said that Llewellyn the Great built the Trefriw
church, St. Mary's, as a chapel-of-ease, in the thirteenth
century. The first-named is considered one of the oldest
in Wales, and, fortunately, the " demon restorer !" has
not been allowed to desecrate the place up to the present
time. St. Rhychwyn was the son of Helig ab Glanawg,
who lived in the sixth century. After the submersion
of Helig's land between Penmaen Mawr and Anglesey,
St. Rhychwyn, together with his brothers, entered
upon a mission amongst the survivors of that terrible
inundation (Williams's Snowdon Mountains, and Cymru)1.
1 The celebrated Thomas Williams (better known as Sir Thomas
Williams), a doctor of medicine, linguist, historian, genealogist,
and later in life (it is said) a priest, lived at Trefriw. He was descended
on one side from Ednowain, and on the other from a natural daughter
of M'redydd ap Jeuan, of Gwydir. He was an M.A. of Brasenose
THE VALE OF CONVVAY AND DISTRICT. 57
Of the other churches which existed before the
Reformation not much is known. Caerhun and Llanbedr
seem very old. The former is built in the north-east
corner of the Roman " lines of circumvallation", within
Caerhun Park. St. Michael's Church, Eglwysbach, was
founded by a son of Carwed. It was probably originally
a small monastic chapel, as there is a tradition that the
founder died within the tower of the original chapel.
Llangelynin1 Old Church has only had occasional services
held for over forty years, and there is now a new church
in a more convenient position. Gyffin Church also shows
signs of great antiquity. (The last Abbot of Maenan
Abbey was also Rector of Llanddoget, near Llanrwst).
According to tradition, this parish was formerly an
outlying portion of the parish of Llanefydd. The
original name was " Tir yr Abad". Rees, in his Welsh
Saints, says the parish was also called " March Aled"
and " Capel y Foelas". It is possible that it might have
been formed into a separate parish on the dissolution of
the monastery of Maenan. The present church is com-
In bringing this paper to a conclusion, the writer cannot
help expressing his regret that the scantiness of reliable
information, now existing, respecting the local monastic
institutions, has necessitated his adding a great deal of
extraneous matter. From beginning to end (in most
cases), he has had to rely to a great extent upon tradi-
tions, whatever their value may be. Undoubtedly, great
care was taken, at the time of the " dissolution", to
destroy every kind of evidence that might, by any
possibility, prove favourable to the inmates of the
various monastic establishments. In spite of these pre-
cautions, many valuable MSS. were saved from the
wrecks, and are now to be found at the British Museum,
the " Bodleian", Oxon., and other repositories, which bear
1 Celynin was one of the sons of Helig ap Glanawg. He founded
this church, and also Llangelynin, Merioneth.
58 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS Otf
eloquent witness to the value of the monasteries in
keeping up learning, science, and art in an age of
darkness and savagery.
The writer has included the churches in his notice, as
a great number of them were originally chapels, cells, or
chantries in connection with the monasteries.
THE ABBEY OP ABERCONWY.
From Harleian MSS., published by the Camden Society.
Edward I, in 1289, moved the monastery to Maenan (with the
consent of Pope Nicholas IV, who issued a Bull authorising the
removal). Not only did he grant additional lands to the monks, but
gave them large sums for the building of the new Abbey. Another
grant, "advocatio", of the church of Eglwyswath (Eglwysbach) was
allowed by the Bishop of St. Asaph (Asaven), he to be compensated
by a gift in Rhuddlan.
The grant to a certain Tuderius ap Garwithe of land at Creuddyn, in
recompense for land at Penlasson, given to the monks.
Land in Kevyn Kelynock, four acres (Anglesey, W.).
In Bryn y Franc.
In land of Gruff, ab Robyn.
Land where house of Lord David was formerly in Bwlth1 y Gerwin
in Llettys Clochydd, in bren y gofe (? Eglwysfach).
In dyfren between lands of Grif : ap Robyn, and those of David ap
Tona, which are adjacent to Gwerglodd y Thwalley (Gwalia).
Land between lands of Hugh Conway and Grufl': Gethin.
Land between Llew'n ab Jeuan ap Eg'n, and Erwrgroes, for granary
in Llemdive (Llanddewi ?).
Land in Seiont for tenement of John ap Jeuan ap Howel, between
lands of Gruff, ap Robyn, and David ap Tudor, taylor, Kevyn Kely-
nocke. (The above is probably an account of land purchased or given
to the new Abbey.)
Harleian MSS. "Bodleian", Oxon.
An agreement on the part of the Abbot follows the MSS., for certain
rights and privileges — the right of wreckage, crossing the ferries of
Among other names — the grange of Crethyn,2 boundaries to be :—
ascent from Conway up to the Mountain to Abercambwll, where the
river Camogan falls to river Conway, then along that river from Cur-
gonau up to fount of Tangwre, from that point or source, along high
1 Bwlch. 2 Creuddyn.
THE VALE Otf CONWAY AND DISTRICT. 59
road up Rutllwydierthe,1 then along a small stream to river Gwyden-
gyrig, then up along that river to the small stream which descends
from Dewlwyn, then to Graslwy, and Chwydnant,2 and so straight to
Pwll in the middle of Genarwen,* then to Pwll in middle of Gwenyd
bythgeue, and so to Dynon yr heol, then to Morfa Haelyrth, then to
Olawdd, near the workmen's houses, then to the head of Crwy Ranallen,
then to river Erythlyn, then to Wern bwys, and Pwllbride, and then
to Nantywrach, then down to Morfa, which is called Gwenuce,4 then
to the Bwlch-cho, then to Mava, which lies between Gwern Elanc and
Garth y Manellt, then to the water called Balin Llechant, and so along
Shallow Reach, then to Morfa, called Gwernyfaenan, and along
stream to Pwllydon, and to Conway, and narrow stream of Conway
Harleian MSS., " Bodleian", Oxon.
July 24th, 1186. Monastery of Aberconwy, founded in the Bishop-
rick of Bangor, in the reign of Henry II.
The following places given by Llewelyn to monks.
Killinioc and surrounding district.
Abbey to be built out of Talepont (Talybont1?).
Witnesses : Owyn ap Ednywan.
Teg ap Robert.
Cad wen Torwerth's son.
Given at Porthaethwy. Howel, son of Idris.
£ s. d.
Island of Anglesey Cowrnoylis . .1320
Bodged wid . . . . 14 6 0
Killyniock (Celynog ?) . 10 16 8
Pennrynedd . . . 4 13 4
For building reservoirs in manor of Cowrnoylis . 0 10 0
One te'n for moniscus ( wages'?) . .050
KaeMawr . . .200
Naulwynayn . . . . 21 18 9
Come . . . . .500
Nankall . . . . .200
Redenoc Velyn . . . .168
Ardle Mynathe (Mynach ?) . . . 14 0 0
Maynan. . . . .900
Creuthyn . . . 1 13 4
Te'n for Bangor . . . .068
For Chester . . .068
For building a Ventriculus.
Ten' for Conway.
1 Rhydlwydiarth. 2 Chwyddnant.
3 Genawrwaen. 4 Gwaenys.
ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF
For building reservoir near monastery church —
de Vag .
St. Patricius (Cemmaes, Anglesey ?) .
Rose (Rhos ?)
Capel of Gyfiche (Gyfylchi ?) .
For Comot Mevenith (Myfwydd)
Aberde-honwy, Cam Keu
Aber Myn'y . .
Church of Liang wat
Hanbyniok . . .
Morfa Vychir (Bychan)
Commot Deuddor (Deuddwr).
The Abbot of Conway held temporary possessions in the diocese of
St. Asaph, 1291, to the amount of £26 2s. 4d., and in that of Bangor
to £37 6s. 80?., besides " spiritualities " in the latter to the amount of
£13 6*. Sd. ; total, £76 15s. 6d. In 26th Hen. VIII, Revenues of
Conway (and Maenan) Abbeys amounted to £162 15s. In gross to
£179 10s. Wd.
Harleian MSS., " Bodleian", Oxon.
Hugh Price, Abbot of Conway, was buried at Saffron Walden, in
Ibid., p. 696, fol. 89.
This contains the " Narratio placite de quo warranto super libertati-
bus Abbatis de Conwy." Edward III.
Ibid., p. 433, fol. 175.
Contains a warrant to the farmers, etc., belonging to the monastery
to pay their rent to Griffin Goghe (Goch ?), the Prior, during the
controversy between David Winchcombe and David Lloyd for the
office of Abbot, dated Rich. III. The document is published in
extenso in the Cambrian Arch, of 1882 (p. 70).
20 0 0
20 0 10
6 13 4
1 13 4
4 13 0
10 4 0
20 0 0
10 0 0
THE VALE OF CON WAY AND DISTRICT. 61
Harleian MS., "Bodleian", Oxon., p. 433, fol. 175.
The Abbot had leave to purchase 600 marks' worth of land in
Worcestershire. David ap Owen, Abbot, 1st Hen. VIII; Hugh
Price, Abbot, buried at Saffron Walden (see above). David ap Owen
was Abbot of Ystrad Farchell, or (as others say) Vale Crucis, before
he came to Maenan. He was afterwards appointed Bishop of St.
In 1301 the English Prince of Wales, afterwards Edw. II, came
down to Aberconwy, where he received the homage of Einion, Bishop
of Bangor, and David, Abbot of Maenan.
The last Abbot of Aberconwy (Maenan) Abbey was Richard ap
Rhys, or Kyffin, who had a pension of £20 per annum and the living
of Cerrigydruidion for giving up possession of the Abbey.
" Of the old Abbey of Maenan not a trace remains. With respect
to the Kyffins of Maenan Hall, Sir Dafydd Kyffin, a priest, also called
Rector of Llanddoget, was grand-nephew to Richard ap Rhys or
Kyffin, Abbot of Conway. It would seem probable that, like the
Pennants, this family came from a monk " deraigne" (and consequently
allowed to marry by an edict of the Pope) (p. 42), who secured
part of the lands of this convent or abbey at the dissolution, and
having married, founded a nourishing family. It must be confessed,
by all fair and impartial judges, that the Welsh clergy did not observe
very strictly the disciplinary rule of celibacy imposed upon the
western Church ; and it must be very questionable whether the enforce-
ment of such a law, attended with so many and so grave scandals as it
was in this country, and is still in others, is in any way conducive to
the spreading and welfare of Christianity, or counterbalances the
advantages which a celibate priesthood may possess."
It is said that Richard ap Rhys, or Kyffin, received, in payment
of his bad faith in surrendering the Abbey of Maenan, license to
break his priestly engagements and vow of celibacy (see above).
King John forced Llewelyn to treat the monks of Aberconwy
with respect, and gave him his daughter Joan to wife, 1206. Prince
Llewelyn was buried in the monastery of Aberconwy, before the high
altar. His coffin was removed to the new monastery at Maenan, and
eventually, on the dissolution of that monastery, to the parish church
of Llanwrst, where it may now be seen (p. 45).
ST. MARY'S PRIORY, BEDDGELERT.
There is a tradition that great opposition was offered to the surrender
of the emoluments of the above Priory into the hands of the Commis-
sioners, ending in fighting and bloodshed in the Nannor and other
districts. A full account is to be found in the History of the Families
of Hafod gargog, Dolfinz yn Nannor, and Cae Dafydd.
Bishop Einion of Bangor describes the Priory thus : — " Ty y
62 ABBEYS AND CONVENTS OF THE VALE OF CON WAY.
Fendegedig Fair yn Eryri, oedd yr hynaf yn holl Gymru, oddigerth
Enlli (Bardsey), ynys y Saint." The particular date of the foundation
of St. Mary's Priory is lost in obscurity, but tradition points to its
having existed since the third century. If that is true, Bishop Anian
(or Einion) must have been correct in his description of the monastery.
A portion of the old walls were in existence up to 1830, when they
wore pulled down by some sacrilegious persons ! An inscribed stone
was rescued from the ruins by the late Mr. John Jones, of Glangwynant.
An English gentleman who was staying in the neighbourhood gave
him a handsome present for preserving the memento, and told him that
the inscription implied that the place was built (or rebuilt) in the
seventh century. There is a small well not far from the old site,
which still goes by the name of " Ffynon Fair". Pennant asserts that
he had in his possession a copy of the ancient seal of the monastery,
on which was delineated the effigies of the Virgin and Child. It was
dated 1531. Owen Gwynedd endowed the Priory with lands in
" Tref y Beirdd", in the " Cwmwd" of Menai. Llewelyn ap lorwerth,
and Llewelyn ap Gruff, and Dafydd ap Llewelyn, also added to the
endowments. In rebuilding the Priory, 1284-90, it is said that the
stones used in making the arches were brought from Anglesey, and
the whole building was of a very substantial description. There is
also a tradition that the stones were brought up to Pont Aberglaslyn
in small boats. Henry VIII brought the Priory into connection with
the monastery of Chertsey1 (Surrey), and afterwards it was given to
the Abbey of Bisham (Berks). The value at the time of the dissolu-
tion of the Priory was £68 3s. Sd. Edward VI gave all the lands
belonging to the Priory to Robert ab Hugh Bodville, of Lleyn. The
monastery was of the Augustinian Order.
1 The Abbey of Ohertsey possessed £744 per annum, although it
contained only fourteen monks.
ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.1
BY THOMAS GRAY, ESQ., J.P., M. INST. C.E.
(Read May 20th, 1903.)
THE GRANGES IN MARGAM PARISH.
N this paper, the subject of which was
suggested to me by Dr. Birch, I confine
myself to the Granges of the Abbey in
the Parish of Margam, although the
Abbey possessed several granges outside
If the Norman Conquest of Glamorgan
had not occurred, it is probable that the Abbey of
Margam would not have existed. Sir Robert Fitz-
Hamon, the leader of the Norman knights who wrested
the Lordship of Glamorgan from Jestyn ap Gwrgant, was
Count of Corbeil and Baron of Thorigny and Granville.
" Some doo affirme that he was Lord of Astreuile in
Normandie," says H. Lhoyd, in his History of Cambria.
His father was Hamo Dentatus, sixth Earl of Corbeil.
The family of Granavilla is traced to Rollo, first
Scandinavian conqueror of Normandy.
The manner of the winning of the Lordship was shortly
in this wise: In A.D. 1090 Cadivor, the son of Collwyn
(Calhoyn, in Lhoyd's History of Cambria, 1578), Lord of
Dyvet, died, and his sons Llewellyn and Eneon1 moved
1 References : Miss Talbot's MSS., thus (T, 73) ; Mr. Clark's Carlo:,
thus (C. DXXXLXXIV).
2 Kin ion ap Collwyn.
162 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
Griffith, son of Meredyth, to make war against Prince
Rees ap Theodor1; but Rees put them to flight, killing
Gruffyth. Eneon fled to Jestyn, Lord of Morgan we,
who likewise was in rebellion against Rees ap Theodor,
and promised on condition to marry Jestyn's daughter.
Eneon having been in England, and, knowing the English
nobility, proposed to Jestyn that the aid of the Normans
be sought against Rees ; so Eneon went to England, and
was the means of bringing into Glamorgan Sir Robert
Fitz-Hamon and twelve other knights and a great army
of Normans. The Norman army and that of Jestyn
burned and spoiled Rees's land, and destroyed his people.
This so grieved Rees, that he suddenly got his army
together, and met them not far from Brecknock : where, in
the terrible battle, he was slain.
So Fitz-Hamon became possessed, for his share of the
spoils, of Cardiff and Kenfig Castles and adjacent lands,
being the body of the Lordship of Glamorgan of which
Margam was part, and he styled himself Prince of
The family of Granavilla seems to have been a pious
one ; for Sir Robert's brother and knightly companion
founded and endowed Neath Abbey ; and, later, Sir
Robert Fitz-Hamon's daughter and heiress Mabel2 mar-
ried Robert, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of King
Henry I, by Nest, daughter of Prince Rees ap Tewdwr ;
and they determined to grant part of her dower lands to
the service of God, and to the monks of Clairvaux and
the Cistercian Order. And thus it came about that the
Cistercian monks came to Margam, and built their granges,
and farmed the lands around.
The lands given by Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and
Mabel, or Mabilia, his wife, to the monks of Clairvaux,
are described as being between the Kenfig river and the
further bank of further Afan.
1 Rhys ap Tewdwr.
2 Fitz-Hamon is said by some to have had but one daughter, Mabel,
sometimes called Sybil, by others four ; and as two embraced the
religious life, and the other may have died, practically, he had but
one daughter living in the world. Dr. Birch says two of his daughters,
Cicely and Hawise, became the Abbesses of Shaftesbu ry and Wilton.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 163
The gift to the monks of these lands had for object the
founding of an Abbey thereon. The text of the first
charter, which is unfortunately not in existence, is pre-
served us in an Inspeximus of certain charters by Edward
le Despenser, Lord of Glamorgan and Morgan, dated
July 13th, A.D. 1358, of an Inspeximus by Hugh le De-
spenser, son and heir of Hugh le Despenser, Lord of
Glamorgan and Morgan, and Alianora, his wife, at Cardiff
Castle, October 9th, A.D. 1338.
In this document Earl William notifies to the Bishop
Nicholas of Llandaff,1 that he has confirmed the gift
which Robert, his father, gave to the monks of Clair-
vaux : —
" Willelmus comes Gloucestrie Nicholao Landavensi episcopo et
vicecomiti suo de Glamorgan et omnibus baronibus suis et homini-
bus et amicis Francis et Anglis et Wallensibus salutem."
" Sciatis me concessisse et hac mea carta confirmasse illam
donacionem quam Robertas comes Gloucestrie pater meus et
Mabilia comitissa mater mea pro sua suorumque salute dederunt
monachis de Clara valle , scilicet totam terram que est inter
Kenefeg2 et Aven3 ulteriorem que est ad occidentem heremitagii
Theodorici . sicut predicte aque descendant de montanis . hanc
totam terram concedo predictis monachis sicut vadit per montana .
a sursa scilicet aque de Kenfeg' inter sursam Rudelf et Gethlifret
usque in Redekewelthi . id est in vadum Kewelthi in Avenam . in
bosco . et in piano in pratis . et pasturis . et aquis . in moris et
mariscis . piscarias eciam de Avena totas . ut nemo ex altera parte
eas impediat . nee mittat manum ad piscandum in tota Avena nisi
1 A.D. 1149-1183.
2 Kenefeg, Cefn-y-Figen, the ridge above the bog or swamp. Just
half a mile east-south-east of the bridge of the Roman road Heol-y-
troedwyr (" the road of the foot-soldiers"), are some slight remains of
3 Aven. Afan River. The town on its west bank is called Aber-
avon, correctly Aberafan, the single "f " in Welsh having the sound of
the English " v." Avan is often confounded with Avon, a river; Avan
is quite another word. Aberavan, or Aberafan, is derived from Aber, a
construction of aberw, a confluence of water, the junction of water, the
fall of a lesser river into a greater one or into the sea. Avan is a com-
pound of A or Ab and bann. B in Welsh is mutable into forv and m ;
eifara, his bread ; fy mara, my bread. So bann is changed into /ann.
Ab means quickness of motion ; bann, high. Thus AJan is the name
of a river which Hows from the high lands (bannau) into the sea.
164 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
The Abbey, \ve find from the Annales de Margan, was
founded in A.D. 1147.
" A.D. 1147 Fundata est abbatia nostra quae dicitur Margan . Et
eodem anno comes Gloucestrie Robertas , qui earn fundavit , apud
Bristollum obiit pridie kalend Novembris." — Annales de Margan,
So the pious founder's spirit passed away, and he never
saw the noble Abbey rise in its magnificence. Magnifi-
cent we know it must have been, judging from the
remains we see to-day ; and this noble Abbey so appeared
to Sir John de Avene. He confirms certain gifts, "having,
after a diligent view thereof, considered the noble and
magnificent structure of the walls continually made in
the said monastery."
The Cistercians, "the puritans of the cloister," who
came and settled in this lovely spot, were an offshoot from
the Benedictines, who lived under a new and stricter rule,
modelled on that of the Order they quitted in 1098.1
Their origin is well known, and need not be here related.
" Both Orders were great landowners ; and at the time of
the Dissolution most, if not all, of the Cistercian houses
seem to have approximated to the character of the Bene-
dictine abbey. But, speaking generally, and taking in
view also the preceding centuries, it may be said that the
Cistercians were essentially farmers and farming their
own lands themselves. This they were able to do the
better through the institute of fratres conversi, or lay
brethren, which flourished among them. In course of
time this system was abandoned in England ; for instance,
at Meaux Abbey the conversi died out towards the end
of the fourteenth century."3
The conversi were distributed among the various granges
belonging to the Abbey, and as these were far from the
Abbey, at each grange a small chapel was provided for
the use of the conversi, the mass being celebrated by the
monks detailed for the purpose. Thus we find that
Bishop Elias, in a letter, notifies to all the faithful that he
has granted permission to the Abbot and Convent of
1 Dr. Birch, Neath Abbey.
2 Henry VIII and the Enylish Monisteries : Dom Francis Gasquet.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 165
Margam to celebrate services in their " Grangia de
Melis," A.D. 1239 ( Harleij Charter 75A 26).
" Licence, by Elias, Bishop of Llandaff, to Margam, for Divine
Service in Melis Grange, A.D. 1239. Universis Christi fidelibus
ad quos presens scriptum pervenerit . E. Dei gratia Landavensis
episcopus salutem . gratiam . et benedictionera. Quoniam ex
offitio nobis injuncto justis petentium desideriis et precipue .
virorum religiosorura . animo nos decet benigno condescendre .
universitati vestre presentibus duximus significandum . quod nos
concessimus dilectis filiis nostris abbati videlicet et conventui de
Margan ut in grangia sua de Melis divina possiut celebrare.
Ut autem ea que auctoritate nostra coiicessa sunt firmitatis
robur optineant in perpetimm . presenti scripto sigillum nostrum
" Datum anno gratie M°- O xxxix. valeat universitas vestra in
" Endorsed — Quod liceat nobis divina ministeria in grangia de
THE GRANGIA DE MELIS.
This grange, situated in the hamlet of Hafod-y-Porth,
is now called the Court Farm : it is the farm close to
Port Talbot Great Western Railway Station. I speak of
the Afan river as it ran prior to 1838, when it was
diverted. The grange stood some distance from the
north bank of the river, just on the edge of the land over
which high spring tides swept in flowing up the river,
sweetening the grass, and making it exceedingly good
feeding-ground for sheep, which thrive amazingly on it.
Melis is Welsh for sweet.
The same name obtains in Meols in Wirral, Cheshire
A Harley Charter Deed 75 c 36 occurs in which Leisan
and Owein,2 sons of Morgan, promise the monks on their
oath not to dig or plough the land between the Walda of
the English — the Gwal Saeson, the Englishmen's Wall—
and Meles in Avene Marsh ; for they and their fathers
have given the pasture of all the land, arable and not
arable " in Melis" in Moor and in Marsh, to the monks,
between Avene and the chapel of St. Thomas. The
1 Dr. Birch, Margam Abbey. * Occur A.D. 1200-1205.
1 fifi NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
chapel of St. Thomas was in the Grangia de Mel is, and is
the building I believe known still as " Yr hen Gapel," the
The Gwal Saeson, a wall of masonry, still exists in con-
siderable part, and runs along parallel with the Afan
river, from the Ffrwdwyllt river, until it joins the Afan
at about the point where the waters pause before they
turn on to the low-level lands to run more sluggishly
before meeting the sea.
The Abbot had sea walls in the flat marshes, and great
care seems to have been exercised in the watching and
reparation of them. These walls were in the flat land
called Morfa Newydd, or New Marsh or Moor : thus it was
called in Abbey days.
An indenture exists, made on St. Nicholas the
Bishop's Day, 6th Dec., A.D. 1349, Harley Charter 75 A 44
(C. uccxxvii). By it the Abbot grants to John Lange
and Jevan ap Phelipot of Avene (Aberavan), eight acres
of arable land in the demesne of Terrys Grange (I do not
know the location of this grange) for their lives, on con-
dition of their repairing and maintaining all the Abbot's
sea walls (wallce marince) in the Marsh of Avene, against
perils of the sea only at their own proper expenses,
excepting the work of repairing or altering the wood-
work of the " goutes," which the grantors are to execute
at the costs of the Abbey. The feedings on the wall are
to be enjoyed by the grantors without injury to them.
If the sea goes over the top of the walls, and creates so
much damage that it cannot be repaired between two
tides of ebb and flow (inter duas tydas inaris fluentis et
refluentis) without imminent danger, then the Abbot is
to render assistance. The Abbot allows each grantor two
loads of dead wood, to be delivered weekly by the forester ;
but if they are found cutting green wood, they are liable
to be fined in the Abbot's Court.
The Port Talbot Stone, found near the Court Farm,
proves with the grant by Leisan and Owein, that
St. Thomas' Chapel was that licensed for divine service
by Bishop Elias in A.D. 1239, in the Grangia de Melis.
I do not know how it was that the chapel was erroneously
said to be between the Afan and the River Neath.
NOTES' ON THE GUANOES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
Professor Westwood says the Port Talbot Stone, neat-
Court Farm, was evidently intended to commemorate the
St. Thomas to whom the neighbouring, but long-destroyed
Capell St. Thomae was dedicated : " the stone evidently
intended to commemorate the neighbouring but now
long-destroyed Capell St. Thoinae" " in terra quam W.
comes Gloucestri dedit Willelmo filio Henrici inter
aquas de Avene et Neth" (italics are mine). From a
charter of confirmation by Nicholas, Bishop
of Llandaff: here the chapel is stated
to have been between the Avan and
Although I am certain the Chapel of
St. Thomas was in the Grangia de Melis,
I have some doubts as to the building
now called "yr hen Gapel " (the old
Chapel) being the ancient chapel; as I re-
member the west end of the old dwelling-
house having in it an ecclesiastical window,
which, however, may have been removed
there from the east end of the old chapel,
the window of which is now blocked up.
This window is mentioned in a letter by
the late Rev. H. H. Knight. He writes
(circa 1850), on his visit to this farm,
"the tenant pointed out part of a cross
with an indented pattern, something like
that at Llantwit Major. It had been
placed as part of the coping on the
garden wall, and was not in good preser-
vation. We were then shown the west
end of the house, and were informed
that it had been part of a chapel, and that human
remains had not infrequently been discovered in digging
the raised ground on which the buildings stand.''1
The dwelling-house was burnt down some years ago (a
considerable number of old guineas were found in the
debris), and, unfortunately, the window was destroyed ;
or, what amounts to the same thing, it was put into
1 Extract from a letter sent me by Mr. J. G. Thomas, Burry Port.
His father was the teuant of the farm at the time referred to.
of St. Thomas.
168 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
position in the new building in such a way as to be
unrecognizable. It was about the same size as the
splayed opening of the east window in the old chapel ;
and I think it probable that when a barn was erected
on the east of the chapel and attached to it, the window-
jambs and mullions were removed to decorate the dwelling-
On the south wall of the old chapel are four corbels of
Sutton stone, 12 ft. from the ground, and I have thought
this might have been the north wall of the ancient
chapel, if the present building is not it. The few
ornamental stones about seem to have belonged to a
more ornate building than that of the building now called
"yr hen Gapel." The old chapel is 12 ft. by 14 ft. long.
The east window is 22 in. wide, and splayed to 36 in.
Some of the quoins are of Sutton stone. At 2 ft. 4 in.
from the north-west corner is the ancient doorway with
semi-circular arch ; it is 2 ft. 3 in. wide by 9 ft. 10 in.
high. The arch rises 8 in. from the springing ; the
curved stones of the arch are also Sutton. The window
of the west end of the dwelling-house was replaced after
the fire, and appears now as a round-headed light of about
10 in. width find 30 in. or so in length.
Lord Hugh le Despenser confirmed the gifts to the
Abbey by Morgan ap Cradoc and Leisan, his son (who,
with Owein, gave the monks the land in " Melis"
and Marsh), and stipulated a boundary between his land
and the monks' land, on condition of their celebrating
divine service on his birthday, " in pre-vigilia Beati Valen-
tini martyris," by a priest saying one mass of the Virgin
Mary on the three following days, and on the birthday
itself solemn mass in the choir ; monks of at least the
grade of priests are to sing the psalter, " pia mente," on
the three said days; seven poor men are to be fed,
clothed, and provided with footwear as the monks are ;
and, on the day of his death, yearly, the poor men are to
be similarly provided for. Circa A.D. 1347 (document
much injured by rats, so that the date cannot be actually
^ As already stated, the land given to the monks of
Clairvaux extended to the further bank of the river
ANCIENT DOORWAY IN NORTH SIDE OF ST. THOMAS' CHAPEL.
NOTES ON THE GBANGES OF MABGAM ABBEY. 169
Avan : " scilicet omnes terras cum pertinentiis suis inter
aquam de Kenefeg et ulteriorem ripam aque de Avene
ulterioris que est ad occidentem heremitagii Tfieodorici."
By a deed similar to the one already quoted, Leisan
and Owein1 (T. 288. 12) grant to Margam Abbey all the
marsh lying between the " Wallum" of the English and
Avene water (see the deed previously mentioned), and
between Avene water and Berges (burrows or sand-dunes),
at a yearly rental of half-a-mark silver. The latter part
gives the land now known as Morfa Newydd, or New
Marsh, and shifts the boundary further west for some
distance ; and so the parish boundary runs along the west
side of this land between sea and river.
Morgan Gam, or Morgan of the crooked or squinting
eye — or, it may be, he was crook-backed — was the third
son of Morgan ap Caradoc ; he succeeded to the estate of
his brother Leisan and Owein, and became a benefactor to
the Abbey early in the thirteenth century. Gilbert, Earl
of Gloucester, took Morgan prisoner in A.D. 1228, loaded
him with chains, and sent him to England ; he was
released on giving hostages to the Earl of Clare. Morgan
was a turbulent fellow ; in A.D. 1232 he burned the
town of Kenfig,2 and he must have given much trouble
to the Abbey, for he swore on the reliques of Margam to
observe in future all the charters and confirmations of his
father and brothers and his own to Margam Abbey, and
that all disputes should be settled by award of two or
three arbitrators chosen on each side ; " and if we do not
adhere to this, let Holy Church do her duty by us": i.e.,
excommunicate him ( T. 73 ; C. DCCCLXXIV).
Morgan confirmed his whole common of pasture to the
monks, " tarn in Marisco quam in Melis," as well in
Marsh as in Melis, and grants them a site for building a
cow-house " in Melis" (see note on Melis). In another
deed Morgan Gam grants to the Abbey (T. 115.
C. DCCCXXIX) this land, the New Marsh of Avene,
" Novum mariscum de Avene," between their " Walda"
(sea wall) and the " "Walda" of the English, with exclu-
1 Occur A.D. 1200-1205.
2 " MCCXXXII. Combusta est villa de Kenefeg per Morganum cham."
(Exch. Chr. in Arch. Camb., 1862, p. 278).
170 \»| i;s ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
sion of cattle, except those of the Abbey, from Easter to
Michaelmas, " & Pasca usque ad festum Sancti Michael is;"
and if the monks desire to cultivate the said marsh, they
are to hold it as they formerly did hold the whole marsh
by their charter. The New Marsh, which is still its name,
was doubtless made into good land by the ditches (still
there), and by the sea walls, which I have seen, but
which are now nearly all covered by the Port Talbot
The acquisition of this piece of land is the only altera-
tion of the boundary from the right or further bank of
the Afan, in any part of the estate, from the foundation
of Margam Abbey in A.D. 1147 to the present day ;
the boundary of the estate, also that of the parish, is the
same (with the exception of the piece of land east of
Hafodheulog), after it leaves the Morfa Newydd (new
marsh), to-day as it was 756 years ago.
Morgan Gam died in February, A.D. 1240-41, and was
buried at Margam ; and, no doubt, the monks buried him
with no regrets.
His grandson Leysan, Lord of Avene, son of Morgan
vazan (iychan the little) granted (T. 190 ; C. MLXXV) to
the Abbey, free power to impark within the limits of his
demesne any kind of animals found upon the adjacent
" Walda" surrounding the lands called Cormerchs and
Neumerchs, on the south side of Avene water, at the rate
of \d. each, towards the maintenance of the " Walda ;"
some honest receiver being found who shall render account
of the sums demanded to the cellerar of Margam and the
chief bailiff of Avene.
The grandson of Sir Leisian Dauene — who was the first
to use the surname — Sir Thomas de Avene, had disputes
with Margam Abbey with regard to the reparation of the
Abbey " Walda" and the ditches of Morfa Newydd. But
on the Abbot showing, by the production of the charters
of Leisan and Morgan (I think this must be an error for
Owein ; there would not be two brothers named Morgan),
sons of Morgan ap Caradoc, and the confirmation of
Morgan Gam their brother, their right to the soil annexed
to the Walda on both sides thereof, an agreement was
entered into (T. 222; C. MCLXXII), and Sir. Thomas rati-
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 171
fied the Charters and agrees not to hinder the Abbey
workmen ; with provision for impounding the cattle of
either straying, and the punishment of men of either
party trespassing. — Margam, 1 Jan., A.D. 1349.
Morgan, son of Owen, who gave Hafod-heulog to Mar-
gam, had a dispute with Neath Abbey, and burned it and
400 sheep, and four shepherds perished in the fire, a
monk and a lay brother being seriously wounded. We
have seen that he injured Margam as well.
In A.D. 1223 some wicked persons burned in one week
upwards of 1,000 sheep and two houses belonging to
Margam. In the year following, 1224, the Welsh again
attacked the Abbey servants, and killed a boy tending
In the early part of the thirteenth century, Yorwerth,
son of Ethenard, gives to the Abbey the land of Pennudh-
Penhydd (" the land of the Stag's head"). Also Alaithur,1
son of Ethenard, gives the land of Penhydd, probably
another part, to the Abbey.
About the same time Luelin, son of Hired,2 grants all
his land of Pennudh and abjuration of all hie land of
Hembroc. Hembroc, or Embroch, or Embro, as it is
variously spelled, is called to-day Mynydd Embroch
(Ernbroch mountain), and lies south-west of Penhydd.
I will give what I think is the derivation of the word
The Abbey was not allowed peaceful possession of
this grange, for in A.D. 1227, according to the Annales
de Margam, p. 35, we find that the Welsh from the hill
country — the hinterland — destroyed the grange and
killed many of the " Animals," i.e., sheep and oxen, in
great number. At the same time they destroyed the
granges of Kossaulin (Resolven or Rhesolven, in the
Neath Valley), and Theodoric in Margam and other places;
for the annalist writes, pp. 20, 25 : "Rursum diversis in
locis domos nostras succenderunt;" "In quibus ignegreges
ovium magni perierunt."
1 Occurs in A.D. 1213. - Occurs in A.D. 1119.
172 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
We have a very early notice of coal being worked on
this grange in a grant by Owein, son of Alaythur. He
grants certain lands between the source of the Frudel,
the nearest approach the Norman scribe could get to
Ffrwdwyllt (at which some of my readers will not wonder),
and the road leading from Pennud to Blain Kenan —
Blaen Cynon — and between the rivulet Blein-nant-lieuth-
leurch — Blaen-nant of to-day, near to Torre-kemerev —
an attempt to master Tor-y-Cyrnry — and Nant-disculua.
This word, Nant Dysgwylfa, no doubt sorely puzzled the
Owein in another grant, circa A.D. 1249 (Harley Charter
75 B 4, cxxvn), gives the monks all the " stony coal"
(totum carbonum lapideum) in his and his men's lands with
ingress and egress for two-wheeled and four-wheeled carts
and other vehicles — " cum libero ingressu et egressu tarn
cum bigis et quadrigis quam aliis vecturis prout eisdem
commodius visum fuerit" for half a mark beforehand and
on Christmas Eve (in Vigilia Natalis Domini] the yearly
rent of half a crannoc1 of wheat so long as the monks use
the coal. The monks undertake to compensate Owein
for all damage done by their coal working to his arable
land, " quicquid vero dampni incurrerim vel perdiderim
de terra arribili per fossionem dicti carbonis predicti
monachi mihi restituent per visum bonorum et legalium
This coal was worked in the neighbourhood of Bryn,
where coal is worked to-day, but I never thought until
I saw this deed in the British Museum that coal was
worked there nearly seven hundred years ago.2
Owen, for some reason or other did much injury to the
Abbey property ; but this came to an end, and a record is
left us (T. 145 ; C. MCCCCXVII) in an agreement made in
A.D. 1246, between Owen, Rees and Cradoc, sons of
Alaythur, and the monks. Owen and his brothers
1 Crannoc, Crynog, a local ancient measure used in this district
previous to the Uniformity Act of 1826. It was equal to 10 bushels
(History of Llanyynwyd by Cadrawd, p. 154).
2 Some of the Margam Abbey deeds were probably taken to London
on the dissolution of the monastery, and then found their way to the
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 173
having injured the Abbey property to the extent of £324
(a sum in our money of between £4,000 and £5,000), they
give various grants to the Abbey, and undertake by oath
upon the sacred reliques at Margam that they will not
depasture their cattle in Abbey lands, nor occupy the
Abbey houses, nor fish in the waters of Neth (Neath),
under penalty of excommunication and denial of church
burial. The grants of land and coal were probably the
friendly result of this agreement.
John de Egglescliffe, Bishop of Llandaff A.D. 1339,
notifies in obedience to Apostolic letters exhibited to him
by Hugh Everard, monk of Margam and Proctor of the
Abbey, he has confirmed to the Abbot and Convent the
possession of the tithes of sheaves and of hay in their
lands of upper and lower Pennuth and elsewhere.
At the commencement of the sixteenth century the
Abbot having become simply a great landowner, and the
activity and zeal of the Cistercian Order having become
enfeebled, a symptom of decay shows itself in the leasing
of the granges hitherto farmed by the Abbey by the
labour of the conversi. The lay brethren, as we have
seen stated by Dom Gasquet, ceased to be welcome at the
Abbeys, and the result of this and the wealth acquired
by the monks, and the gradual abandonment of the
austere life they formerly led, was the leasing of the
granges and other lands to secular persons.
Abbot David — to give him his full name, David ap
Thomas ap Howell — began the new order of things.
Mr. Clark says that Abbot David was the third son of
Thomas ap Jevan by Madryn Stradling (Stradling is a
corruption of le Esterling, the name of one of the Norman
knights ; Jevan was the fourth son of Rhys Vychan,
ancestor of Powell of Llandow).
It would seem that some of the charges levelled at the
monasteries by Henry VIII were true, for Abbot David
had several natural children who are frequently mentioned
in the local pedigrees.1
The fishings (always so jealously guarded by the
monks) are even let and Abbot David leases (T. 274 ;
C. MCCCIV) to Jevan ap Hopkyn ap Willyam, gentleman
1 Dr. Birch, Margam Abbey.
I 74 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
all the fishing in the Afari river, from the ford called
" Reyde Epollon Deon in Avenys waters to the pette
called Polle Robyn."
The lease, dated 8th March, 1509 (1510), was for
seventy years, and the rent is thus stated, " payng yerle
the rente and ferme for the seyd fysching to the seyd
abbat or couent othyr hys successures fro Hogday1 unto
owre Lades Day in- the harvoste four chellinges forty
sewins (sewin) and seventeen samonys."
Even at this date the monks had learned no Welsh,
although they and their predecessors had lived so long in
the land ; and we still see desperate attempts at spelling.
Some of my readers will not be surprised when they find
that Reyde Epollon Deon should be Rhyd-y-pyllau-duon,
the Ford of the Black Pools, called to-day Black-wells
(near Cwmavon). The word Deon is the nearest ap-
proximate pronunciation of Duon. Polle Robyn, which
looks so like a girl's name, is Pwll Robin, or Robin's
Pool. This is a well-known spot on the river Afan, near
where the boundary of the parish leaves the further
bank of the river to traverse the mountains ; it is also
near the Ford of Gyfylchu,2 the ford mentioned in the
charter of William, Earl of Gloucester, as Redekewelthi.
This word the monks ever stumbled at ; they did their
best and wrote Kewelthi, Keuelhi, Keweleth-hi. The
scribe who wrote it Keweleth-hi got hold of the last
letter, and doubtless was proud of it, for " u" is " i"
in sound, Norman " i."
And now I have a picturesque scene to relate of Pen-
hydd Waelod. Harley Charter 75 A 49 (C. MCCCXIX)
gives the text of the deposition of the Jury in the Court
of John, Abbot of Margam concerning the boundaries of
the grange of Penhydd Waelod, Penhydd lower.
Abbot David now like Solomon, slept with his fathers,
and Abbot John had taken on him his mitre. Before he
1 Hognight was New Year's Eve, so presumably Hogday was the
last day of the year (Dr. Brown's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,
1 Gyfylchu. Cy, an abbreviation of Cyd, which means united, and
Fylchu, the plural of Bwlch, gaps or passes, meaning the intersection
of the passes or gaps.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 175
died be leased the grange to Thomas ap Griffith ap David
Wachan, and Margaret, verch (daughter of) David ap
Philip, liis wife, for seventy years, at a yearly rent of
thirteen shillings and fourpence and a " herriett." The
lease is dated in the Chapter-House, Margam, 30th Dec.,
The jury of twelve under oath find the boundaries to
be from the corner of Jevan Thuys* close, beyond the
pool, to Lether Teley or Telley,1 to the high road off tbe
road through the gorse moor to Talken' Henglawth ;2 then
along the old foss to gorse moor,8 through the middle of
the moor of the coal-pit, where lie two stones ; then to
the old foss of the meadows called Gweyn Deveyd ;4 then
to the stones called Mayn Lloydon,5 to the high road
beyond the road of Keven-y-Garne Issa ;6 then between
the stones called y' Garn', to Cam' Ycha ;7 then to the
well near the close of Gruff ap Rees.
And the said Thomas ap Gruff' (Griffith) swore to these
boundaries on a book of the Gospels, and carried the
book, in accordance with the curious custom of the Manor,
along all the above boundaries. — Margam, llth Oct.,
The last Abbot of Margam, Ludovicus (or Lewis)
Thomas, just short of five years before the end came,
leased the Afan fishing to Llewelyn ap Hopkine David
Grayh for forty years, " From the foorde callyd Ryde y
ppollon' Deon (note the fanciful spelling this time), to
the forde called Ryde y Banalle,8 benneth the myle"
(mill), the rent being 'x Samones v gyllynges9 XLiiute
1 Lether Teley. Llethr, a slope, and Tyle, steep.
2 Talken Henglawth. Talcen Henglawdd, the head of the old
3 Gorse Moor = gors mawr, the great bog ; gors for cors, a bog ; moor
for mawr, great ; old foss, ffos, a ditch.
4 Gweyn Deveyd. Gwaun Defaid, sheep meadow.
5 Mayn Lloydon. Maen Llwydion, maen, stone ; llwydion, gray ;
6 Keven y Garne Issa, Cefn-y-garn Isaf, the ridge of the lowest cairn.
7 Garn Ychaf. Uchaf, the highest cairn.
8 Rhyd y Banalau, Ford of the Broom, Cytisus Scoparius ; Rhyd,
a ford ; Banalau, broom.
9 ? Graylings. It is said the monks brought the grayling into this
country from the Continent.
176 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
suwynges to be payd at the usuale tyme of the yere or
elles virjd for euery samone and nud for euery gyllyng,
and for euery cuple sewinges i*, and the sayd samonsy
yerely to be payd befor the fest of the purificacion of oure
Lady, and the other said fyshes to be paid before the
nativitie of our Lady." I have not been able to find
out what the fish named " gyllynges" might be.
Lewis Thomas surrendered his Abbey on February
28th, A.D. 1537, into the hands of a greedy and rapacious
kino-; and then, when almost near the promise of spring,
the monks wandered forth, and all seemed winter still to
them. The Abbaty, as the Welsh call it — father's house,
for the Abbot fed the poor — fell, to rise no more.
The last part of the notes on Penhydd Waelod ended
in gloom and winter and sadness ; and now I bring you
to summer, for Hafod means " the summer abode ;" haf,
summer ; bod, house or dwelling ; the " b" being dropped
for the sake of euphony.
This Grange is in the hamlet of Hafod-y-Porth, as the
former granges are. The chapel of this farm existed
until recently, and the field on which it stood is called
Waun-y-capel, " Chapel meadow." While in the Law
Courts, a year or so ago, I was fortunate in seeing on an
Admiralty Chart made in A.D. 1859, the chapel marked
thereon, and from that I was able to mark it on the
Ordnance Map, and so preserve a record, at any rate, of
its exact position. In an old Map by John Speed, A.D.
1610, it is marked as Hauod-aport chapel.
The lands of Hafod lie in the beautiful Dyffryn valley :
this is tautology, as both words mean nearly the same
thing, Dyffryn being composed of two words, dwfr,
water, and hynt, a way or course ; the word Dyffryn
therefore meaning a valley through which a river finds
its way. The river running through the valley has the
picturesque name of Ffrvvdwyllt ; the Rudelf of William,
Earl of Gloucester's, Charter and the Frudel of Owein's
grant : it means " wild stream ; " ffrwd, stream or torrent;
wyttt, gwyttt, wild or rushing.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF M AEG AM ABBEY. 177
The sons of Herbert were possessed of lands in Dyffryn ;
they gave the land Killeculum (or Gallt-y-cwm as it is
now called) to the monks — the steep part in the valley,
and truly it is a steep road to reach it ! Gallt-y-cwm lies
on Hafod's right hand to the north, but Hafod is the
happier for the bright peep it has of the tumbling waters
of the Hafren, as the Severn Sea is called in this land.
Gallt-y-cwm looks right upon the lofty Mynydd Embroch,
between which and it the Ffrwdwyllt flows, somewhat
smaller here and not so turbulent. Hafod, too, can look
on Mynydd Embroch, that steep old mountain, which
seems to me to find its name from its attributes : Hen-
brembch I make it, the old steep mountain ; from hen,
old ; " bre," synonymous with " bryn" in the twelfth
century, hill or mountain, moch steep, shortened into
Gallt-y-cwm received many strange spellings by the
monks: Killeculm, Killeculum, Killecullum, Killialum; but
in the Harley Charter, 75 c 29 ; C. DCCLLXI, it is spelt in
a most fanciful way, and the name sounds as if the monk
was in playful mood as he wrote : Kidlicolum he put
down. You will see why he was in this mood, for Griffin
Latimer quit-claimed to the monks of Margam his right
in the land of Kidlicolum (Gallt-y-cwm), on their giving
him a shirt and breeches (camisiam et braccas) ; they
gave him the money to buy a tunic and mantle as
Gallt-y-cwm stands 441 ft. above the sea, and therefore
looks down on Penhydd, which is 417 ft., and Cil-y-gofid,
338 ft. above the sea level. Ty'n-y-fferm2 (as on Ordnance
Map) is 221 ft.
The narrow lanes of monastic times still exist in the
hamlet of Hafod-y-Port, in Dyffryn valley, some near
Hafod being only 6 ft. or 7 ft. in width. One of the
lanes is mentioned in a deed, dated A.D. 1516, "as far as
1 The cloth was " de burello." " Panni spissioris ac vilioris, species,
Burrell, bureau, gros drap" Ducange : a kind of thick coarse cloth,
probably of a red colour (Dr. Birch, Maryam Abbey). I think it was
the " Brethyn Llwyd," a woollen cloth made in Wales and worn by
farmers ; a brownish-grey in colour.
2 Ty'n-y-fferm ; short for Tyddyn-y-fferm, the house of the farm.
178 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
the lane called Rew Herbert." This lane, Rhiw Herbert,
still exists ; Rhiw means a steep path or roadway up a
mountain side. In this deed the Ffredulles-Myll,
Ffrwdwyllt Mill (corn) is leased. The mill exists still,
but has recently been made into a woollen factory. In a
deed of 1536 A.D., another lane is mentioned, the Troscol,
" the road over the peak (of the mountain) ;" it is still so
I can easily understand why Hafod was given such a
summer-like name : it has on either hand the loveliest
little valley I have yet seen, particularly that on its right;
neither is so ambitious a one as its parent, the Dyffryn.
The one on the right, or north, is the Cwm Wenderi,
properly Cwm Waun-dderi ; Cwm is also valley, or dingle
rather, as "coombe" in Devonshire, " the valley or dingle of
the meadow of the oaks."
If you climb up the Hafod mountain out of the valley,
you see below you the ruins of a house called " Maes
dwfn," from " maes," a field ; " dwfn," deep or low. And
on the top the view is strange ; you seem to be in a
different world, mountain after mountain being heaped
together, and succeeding each other as far as the eye can
On those hills the battles of bygone days were fought
between Roman and Briton, and, later still, between
Norman and Welsh. On Hafod mountain is Bryn Allwyn,
" the hill of sorrow" or "of grief," whence come the wailings
of the mothers who find their dead, the dead who spoke
the " lingua nimborum," as the Romans called it, " the
language of the rain clouds ;" and up in the rain-clouded
mountain tops the Romans truly found much trouble.
Close to Hafod, too, is Cwm Lladdfa, " the dingle of
slaughter" — ominous name ! It opens out of Cwm
Cerdinen, " the dingle of the mountain ash," as if it
bore in its bright red berries the remembrance of the
effusion of blood near by. " Cwm," dingle ; " lladdfa,"
Again, as you stand on Hafod Mountain, you see past
Gallt-y-cwm ; and nearer to you than Penhydd Waelod
which you can also see, a farm called Cil-y-gofid, "the
nook or retreat of affliction." Here, perhaps, a group of
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 179
soldiers fought to the last, surrounded by the enemy.
" Cil," nook or retreat ; "gofid," affliction.
There, too, three miles north-east of Hafod, is a field
of battle, and a noted one it must have been, for it is
called the " Tor-y-Cymry," the swell or boss (of the
mountain) of the Welsh. Why of the Welsh ? when all
the mountains were of the Welsh ? It clearly points to
some notable battle on the site held by, or captured by,
the Welsh. As usual, the monks made a terrible word
of Tor-y-Cymry : Torkemerev, Toykemerev. Near by
is Nant Dysgwylfa and Pen Dysgwylfa, "the hollow
of the watching-place," and " the top of the watching-
Now, of Nant Dysgwlfa, which they wrote Nantiscoilua.
There are two words used in connection with this name
which I cannot make out, in a grant or quit-claim by
Jowain 'ab Justin to Margam of all the land at Pennud
(Penhydd): " Totam terram que est inter rivum Bleinant-
lineuthleuerich proximum Toykemerev et Nantiscoilua
usque ad viam que vadit a Pennuth." The river Blaen-
Nant is easy ; but Lineuthleuerich is a puzzle. I hope
some of my readers may be able to make the strange
word out. The road over the Tor is called " Rhiw-Tor-y-
A little way south and east of Hafod, and just a mile
from Bryn Allwyn, Prince's Gravestone lies : it is that
of a British Prince — Bodvoc — probably killed in battle,
for close by are numerous entrenchments, Roman and
British.1 The lettering on the stone is as clear to-day
as when it was cut — some fourteen hundred years or
more ago. What a long and lonely watch it has kept by
the warrior lying there, still faithfully giving us his name,
as it did to the Norman monks when they came ! I give
a sketch of the Bodvoc stone. There is a tradition here,
that anyone who reads the words aright will soon after
die. I think the cross on the stone top was added by
the monks, who knew from the formula, " hie jacit," that
Bodvoc was a Christian, and wished so to consecrate the
1 Near by is a Roman camp, having a later British camp around it :
it is called Bwlwarcan. South of the stone, half a mile, is a Roman
180 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MAROAM ABBEY.
burial-place, and to show to passers-by tbat it was so ;
and that Bodvoc slept "dan ei grwys," as the Welsh
love ever to say of the dead, " he sleeps under his Cross"
—Grwys, a corruption of Croes.
The inscription has puzzled many ; but Professors
Rhys, Westwood and Hiibner have made out the true
reading to be "Bodvoci hie jacit films Catotigirni pronepus
Eternali Vedomavi," " Here lies the body of Bodvoc, the
son of Catotigirnus, the great-grands on of Eternalis
In an old account of Glamorgan, which contains a map
by John Speed, dated A.D. 1610, is the following, refer-
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 181
ring to the Bodvoc stone : — " And upon the same shoare
more North and by West (than Newton, near Porthcawl),
on the top of a hill called Minyd Margan, is erected a
monument inscribed with a strange character ; and as
strange a conceit held thereof by the by-dwellers, whose
opinions are possessed, that if any man reade the same,
he shall shortly after die."
The stone keeping watch by Bodvoc is a water- worn
boulder of Pennant sandstone, and it stands close to the
source of the Ken fig river. I believe the stone is referred
to in the Abbey Deeds as the Maen Llwyd, the gray
stone. The Welsh call it the " Carreg Llythyrenog," " the
lettered stone." Near it is the " Crug-y-Diwlith," which
was supposed to mean the dewless mound ; but, no
doubt, the meaning is the " Mound of the Lesson from
God ;" Duw-, God ; -lith, a lesson. The bards of Tir larll,
" the Earl's land/' assembled on the 24th June each
year, alternately on the Crug, Llangynwyd Church and
Bettws Church, to hold their Gorseddau. When the
parish boundaries were " beaten," the clergy used to
address the people from the Crug.
The Bodvoc Stone is known to antiquaries all over the
world, and a description and sketch of it appears in
Professor Hlibner's Inscriptiones Britannia Christianas ;
and also in Professor Westwood's Lapidarium Wallice.
A little south of Hafod, and a mile or so east of the
Bodvoc Stone, are two tumuli : one is called the Ergyd
Uchaf, on the 1,000 ft. contour line, and the Ergyd
Isaf, on the 800 ft. contour line. Ergyd means a shot or
flight ; uchaf, higher ; isaf, lower. These were the
signalling stations of Romans or of British ; and doubtless
from one to other has gleamed forth the fiery signal that
told of the enemy's approach, and called the Welsh to
gather to defend the ancient land of their fathers.
(To b« continued).
OATLANDS IN WEYBRIDGE.
BY S. W. KEHSHAW, F.S.A.
(Head November 5th, 1902.)
E first read of this manor in the reign of
Henry VIII, who often came here from
Hampton Court for the pleasures of the
The mansion was built by that King,
and many later additions were made.
The manor was conveyed to Henry VIII
by indenture, dated 1538, in consideration of a grant
from that sovereign of the site and demesne lands of
Tunbridge in Kent, and some in Surrey. The name was
anciently spelt Otelands, Otland, Otheland, and Owte-
land, and the owners had long held the manor lands of
Byfleet and Weybridge by leases from the Crown.
Royal houses round London were more -numerous than
to-day. They served as resting-places for the " pro-
gresses," so fashionable with the Tudor and early Stuart
sovereigns. These "progresses" made royalty popular,
encouraged displays, spent money, and generally brought
together the higher and lower classes for the good of
State and country. The Surrey historians, Manning and
Bray, are nobly represented in the British Museum, by an
interleaved copy in twenty-five volumes, with sketches in
colour, pencil and otherwise, or engravings, of the churches,
mansions, and antiquities in that county. Volume xvi of
this work contains several views of Oatlands ; and one in
water-colour, from a drawing by Antonio Van Wyngaerd
(1559), shows the structure to be of brick, and in general
ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
BY THOMAS GRAY, ESQ., V.D., J.P., M.INST. C.E.
(Continued from page 181, vol. lix
MUST now take you to where the sun is
stronger, by reason of our having lin-
gered so long at Hafod, and we come
to the sunny summer abode, for that is
the meaning of Hafodheulog : hafod,
summer abode ; heulog, sunny. The
first grant of the land of Hafodheulog
is found in an imperfect charter (T. 289 (2) ; C. DCCXVI)
by Kenwreic, son of Herbert, sworn upon the Sanctuaria
of Margam Abbey Church. Helias, Dean of Newcastle,
Bridgend, was one of the witnesses ; he occurs at the
end of the twelfth century. The next deed referring to
Hafodheulog is a quit-claim (7. 117 ; C. DCLXXXIX) by
Philip, the priest of Havod-haloc, and John his nephew,
to Margam Abbey, of the chapel of Havodhaloc. This
deed was ratified in the presence of Nicholas, treasurer of
Llandaff Cathedral ; Ivor, canon ; Adam, priest ; Robert
Samsonis.1 This was confirmed by Bishop Henry2 to
Margam, by deed addressed to the clergy and laity of the
diocese, and enrolled (T. 543, 1 0 ; C. MCCCCXXVII), assur-
ing the land of Haudhaloc and Rossaulin (Resolveu, Vale
of Neath) and their respective chapels, with anathema
against those who resist. Half a mile to the north, a
1 Of. Harley Charters 75A., A.D. 1217.
2 A.D. 1196 to 1218.
12 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
little east of north, are marked on the Ordnance Map the
remains of Capel Trisant, Church or Chapel of the Three
Saints. This chapel, it seems to me, was the chapel of
Hafodheulog, on the lands of the Grange, but a little way
off for the convenience of other granges or farms near by.
Three Bulls were issued by Pope Innocent III, in
A.D. 1203 ( T. 82 ; (?. DCCXLV), directed to the Archbishop
of Canterbury ; the first pointing out the frequency of
injuries done and the daily failure of justice due to the
Abbot and Brethren of Margam, and detailing the various
modes of punishment to the wrongdoers. The leaden
Bulla of the Pope is appended by strands of green and
yellow silk. It is endorsed " Innocentius IIIUS . Non
absque dolore De Margan ;" and in a later hand, " A pro-
hibition to wronge the Howse of Morgan," dated at
Anagni, Nov. 10th, A.D. 1203. The second (T. 84 ;
C. DCCXLVI) followed the above Bull in a few days,
directed as before, and confirming the apostolic privileges
of Margam Abbey, granted by his predecessors in respect
to exemption from payment of tithes, of the labours
performed by the hands or acquired by the money of the
Abbey, or the food of their beasts, and forbidding any
infringement thereof by some who interpret as relating to
crops what is written of labours, under penalty of excom-
munication ; and further, he who lays violent hands on
any of the brethren is to be publicly excommunicated
accensis candelis, with lighted candles, until he makes
proper satisfaction, and presents himself before the Pope
with letters of the Bishop of the diocese in explanation of
the truth of the matter.1 Dated at Anagni, 20 Nov.,
The third Bull (T. 83 ; C. DCCXLVII) is addressed to
Gilbert, Abbot of Margam, and takes the Abbey of
St. Mary under the protection of St. Peter and his own,
enjoining their perpetual possession of the goods and
property of the Abbey. Then follows a list of all the
lands, and in the list we find the land of Havedhaloc,
with all its appurtenances. After that follow sundry
privileges and injunctions. A charter of King John con-
firms the various grants made to the Abbey, and one is
1 Dr. Birch, Margam Abbey.
NOTES OX THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 13
the grant of Morgan, son of Oein, in Havedhaloch, between
Kenefeg and Baithan, that is, land to the east and north-
east of the Kenfig River and west of the River Baiden.1
The grant by Morgan, son of Oein or Owen (T. 120 ;
C. DCCLIII) cannot be earlier than A.D. 1214, and is of the
whole land of Havedhalok, between the waters of Kenefeg
and Baithan, towards the mountains to the cross near the
highway, at a yearly rent of twenty shillings, with under-
taking of the grantor to perform certain services. Pledged
and sworn on the Sacrosancta of Margam Church. One
of the witnesses is D. Gervase, Bishop of St. David's."2
T. 122 (C. DCOCCLXIII) seems to have been found neces-
sary as a pendant to the deed above mentioned. It is a
quit-claim by Madok, son of Resus, to Margam Abbey, of
the land of Heved-Halok, in accordance with the terms of
Morgan ab Oweyri's charter. And he will be faithful to
the House of Margam, and will defend its property and
cattle as if they were his own ; this he swears on the
Sanctuaria of Margam ; given under the seal of Morgan
ab Oweyri, because he has no seal. The witnesses are
Morgan, son of Owein ; Maurice, priest of St. Cadoc ;
Maurice, parson of St. Julita, and others. Morgan ab
Owein's seal, an ornamental fleur-de-lis : — 3
>fc S'MORGANI . AB . OEINT.
The buildings at Hafodheulog are all modern, having
been built fifty-five years ago. Mrs. David, the tenant's
wife, told me that when they were taking the old buildings
down they found, under the plaster of ages, carved on the
wall the figure of a man : this was in the part used then
as a dairy.
Hafod-heulog is prettily situated 500 yards to the
west of the Kenfig river. North of it opens out the
Kerifig valley, up which, 2|- miles oft, is the source of
the river, which rises near the Bodvoc stone. The
mountains rise rapidly, and half-way to the Bodvoc stone,
1 Baiden, a little, lively, sparkling brook.
2 Gervase, Bishop of St. David's, A.D. 1214 to 1229.
3 Dr. Birch, Margam Abbay. In this Deed Owen is spelled Oweyn
14 NOTES OX THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
Moel Ton Mawr rises to a height of 1,000 ft. on the west
of the valley. Near the source of the Kenfig river, a line
of intrenchments is crossed by the river. It runs from a
point west of Moel Ton Mawr,1 in a north-easterly
direction, for almost two miles, having a camp at either
end, and a little north and east of the centre of the line
is a Roman halting-camp; a mile or so further west-south-
west is another camp close to Margam Castle. These
intrenchments appear to me to have been constructed
to bar the way eastward of a force coming up the Cwm
Philip Valley behind the Abbey, or to protect a force
coming up the valley from the lowlands on to the high
ground towards Bodvoc's grave, from hostile forces
attacking it from the east or hill country. South of
Hafod-heulog rises a ridge, Cefn Cribwr,2 or La Rigge3
in the Margam MSS. This ridge runs east and west,
and rises to a height of 400 ft above sea level. The
ridge is composed of the conglomerates and shales of the
millstone grit underlying the coal measures. On the
west end of the ridge is a British camp, referred to in a
grant of land by Gunnilda, wife of Roger Sturmi, to
Margam Abbey, as the old castle — vetus castellum. West
of Hafod-heulog is what I think must be the part called
La Wareth Moor, and it still is in part a moor. La
Wareth,so called from Llywarch, son of Meredydd or, as
sometimes written, Meruit ; we have Gwaun Llywarch
Half a mile south of Hafod-heulog is Pentre,4 a farm
mentioned in the Crown Sale to Sir Rice Mansel. Near
by it are the slight traces of the Capel Trisant. There
are several houses and farms clustered about this spot :
Ty'n-yr-heol,5 Pen- y- bryn,6 Nant-y-Neuadd,7 Troed-y-
1 Moel Ton Mawr. The Great green-sward Hill ; a bald rounded
hill, i.e., not wooded.
2 Cefn Cribwr. Cefn — a ridge ; Cribwr probably a corruption of
Cribaith — a bold hill ridge, or brink of the bold hill.
3 La Rigge. A corruption of ridge, probably.
4 Pentre. A village or hamlet; a corruption of Pentre v.
5 Ty'n-yr-heol. A house in the road.
6 Pen-y-bryn. The top of the hill.
7 Nant-y-neuadd. The dingle or brook of the hall.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 15
rhiw,1 Cwm Trisant,2 Pant-ysgawen,3 Ty Fry,4 Ton
Owen,0 Trail wyn,6 Fynon-Iago-fawr,7 and Fynon-Iago-
fach.8 It seems to me the Capel Trisant may have
been the chapel of Hafod-heulog, which, as I have said,
is just half a mile south of it. Ffynon-Iago is near
Ffynon-Iago-fawr farm, and no doubt is so named after
St. James, thus indicating one of the three Saints to
whom the chapel was dedicated. Then we have Ton
Philip and Cwm Philip in the neighbourhood, also a
valley called Cwm Maelwg, so it may be the third saint
is St. Maelwg. About a mile west-south-west from
Hafod-heulog is the farm Longlarid, referred to in the
Margam MSS. This farm is some 400 yards west of
the Kenfig river, and is about 120 ft. above sea-level.
The Kenfig valley brings to our notice an interesting
case. The Abbot of Margam held all his lands of the
County of Cardiff in chief, as is shown by the report of
an inquiry at the County Court of Glamorgan (T. 389 ;
C. MLVII), Monday before St. Lawrence's Day, A.D. 1299,
before D. Symon de Raleye, Sheriff of Glamorgan, and the
Earl's Council. It sets forth that whereas the Abbot ot
Margam holds all his lands of Cardiff County in chief,
and the "famulus," or clerk, of the said County alone
performing the duty of coroner in the Abbot's lands,
Traharn Du (Black Traherne), Bedell of Tyriarthe (Tir-
larll, the Earl's land) had by usurpation held a coroner's
inquest on the body of Philip Sparke, who met his death
1 Troed-y-rhiw. Foot of the steep path or road up the hill.
2 Cwm Trisant. The Dingle of the Three Saints, probably S.S. Philip.
James, and Michael. We obtain two of the names of the Saints from
Cwm Philip, and Ton Philip, and Ffynon lago — St. James's Well.
There is Heol Fadog and Nant Fadog — Madoc's road and Madoc's
brook or dingle, so the third Saint may be St. Madoc or St. Michael, as
we have Llanmihangel —the church of St. Michael — not far away.
3 Pant-ysgawen. The hollow of the alder tree.
4 Ty-fry. The house high up on the mountain. Ty — house ; and
fry — very high. .
5 Ton Owen. Owen's rounded hill, covered with sward, but no
trees; probably so called after Owein, father of Morgan, a son or
brother of Morgan ap Caradoc, who gave Hafod-heulog to the monks.
0 Trallwyn. Trallwng is the correct spelling. A quagmire or bog.
7 and 8. Ffynon-Iago fawr and fach. St. James's Well — large
16 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
in Cvvm Kenefeg, to the prejudice of the liberty of the
county, therefore the said Traharn shall be imprisoned.
Abbot William (Corntoun) leased for their lives (T.26S ;
C. MCCLXXXVII) the reversion of the Grange of Hafod-
heulog — Havothaloke, as the scribe in the monastery
thought it should be spelled — to John ap Thomas ap
Richard and Richard ap Thomas ap Richard (probably
brothers) after the decease of Thomas ap Richard (the
father), as the said Thomas and Richard ap Jevan ap
Howell held it, and the reversion of the tithes, the lessees
to maintain all buildings, ditches and fences at their own
cost. They may build a fulling-mill on the fee of the
grange, for which they are to pay a rent of two shillings
yearly. Dated in the Chapter House, Margam Monastery,
2 Richard III, A.D. 1484.
The first donor of land belonging to this Grange was
Kenewreic, son of Herbert (T. 289, 2 ; C. DCCXVI), and
this land was probably that on the west of the river
Kenfig, and on which the Grange buildings stood. The
grant by Morgan, son of Owen'(T. 120 ; C. DCCLIII), of
the whole land of Havedhalok between the waters of
Kenefeg and Baithan, towards the mountains to the cross
near the highway, refers to the land east of the Kenfig,
between it and the Baiden river. The rent, 20s. annually,
with undertaking of the grantor to perform services.
Sworn on the Sanctuaria of Margam.1 Among others, this
deed is witnessed by D. Gervase, Bishop of St. David's,
in whose presence the grant was made, and whose seal is
appended : Martin, Archdeacon of St. David's, Master
Mathias of Brechen (Brecknock), Master H. D. Cluna
(Hugh de Cluna, afterwards Archdeacon of St. David's,
1222), Master William de Capella, Henry de Umfra-
muille ; Reimund de Sulie, William de Sumery, and
Dr. Birch says this Morgan was either the son of Owein,
brother of Morgan ap Caradoc, or of Owen, son of Morgan
ap Caradoc. It was Morgan ap Caradoc who guided
Archbishop Baldwin and Giraldus Cambrensis across the
marsh of A van, on their way to Swansea, preaching the
1 Endorsed : " Carta Morgian filii Owein de Hefedhaloch." This
grant was confirmed by King John, A.D. 1205.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OP MARGAM ABBEY. 1 7
crusade, in 1188 A. D. He was descended from lestyn ap
Gwrgan, and was the founder of the family of de Avenes
— Dauene = d'Avene ; Lords of Afan.
Owen agreed to reduce the rent of 20s. for Hafodheuiog,
in consequence of the vast amount of damage he had
done to the Abbey, to 2s. (T. 140 ; C. DCCOCXXXV), with
penalty of excommunication by the Bishop of Llandaff in
case of his breaking the agreement, and power to the
Earl of Gloucester's bailiffs of Neth (Neath) and Land-
trissen (Llantrisant) Castles to enforce performance.
Near Hafod-heulog is a farm named in the Margam
MSS. Havoth-duga, Havod-y-dyga. It is, no doubt,
Hafod -decaf, the fairest summer abode. So we have
Hafod, the summer abode; Hafod-heulog, the sunny
summer abode; and Hafod-decaf, the fairest summer
LLANMIHANGEL, OR ST. MICHAEL'S GRANGE.
This Grange is situated close to the Kenfig River, in a
bend made by the river, which, after running south south-
west, turns and runs nearly due north, so that seen
from the train the river appears to be running from
the sea, as if it were too coy to go straight on to
it. The Grange is 50 ft. above datum line, and from it to
the sea is two and a-half miles ; about a mile west of the
Grange is Fitz-Hamon's Castle, and near by, the site of
the ancient town of Kenfig. Leland the antiquary, who
visited these parts in A.D. 1540, in his Itinerary writes :
" From Newton to Kenfike Ry ver a vi miles. Of these
vi miles 3 be hygh cliffes on the shore, the other low
shore and sandy ground. For the Rages of Severn Se
casteth ther up much sand .... Kenfike is a small
Broke and cummith by estimation not past a 3 miles of
out of the Mores thereabout." Do not inquire too closely
into John Leland's estimated distances, for in truth they
are as faulty as is his spelling. I will just give one instance
of his distances "by estimation." Kenfig River is about
eight miles in length from its source — high up on Margam
mountain (1,100 ft. above datum line), quite close to
Bodvoc's grave — to the sea, Leland says three miles.
18 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
Old Kentig town had, long before his visit, been over-
whelmed with sand, and Leland writes of the new town
thus : " There is a little village on the Est side of Kenfik,
and a castel, both in ruine and almost shokid and de-
vourid with the sandes that the Severn Se casteth up."
Kenfig River being the parish boundary, I must say no
more of Kenfig and the Margam Grange there, in this
Part, but leave it for another paper, except as to the
fishing, which of course is partly in Margam.
Three Papal Bulls are again addressed by Pope
Alexander IV, each following closely upon the other in
the year AD. 1261 : First, to the Abbot of Citeaux and all
the Abbots of the Cistercian Order, confirming the privi-
lege that no one may summon them or the persons of
their monasteries to synods or foreign assemblies, except
in matter of faith, without permission of the Apostolic
See (T. 173 ; C. DCCCCLXXIX), with leaden Bulla of the
Pope, dated Lateran, 9 Jan., A.D. 1261.
The second (T. 174 : <7. DCCCCLXXX) is very similar to
the above, dated Lateran, 15 Feb., A.D. 1261. The
third (T. 171 ; 293, 27 ; C. DCUCCLXXXL) is addressed to
the Abbot of Margam, and begins by receiving the Abbey
of St. Mary into the protection of St. Peter and his own,
and confirms to the Abbey the gifts arid grants made to
it by various benefactors, and names among the other
lands and farms the Grange of St. Michael. The leaden
Bulla still remains appended to this charter. Dated, 3
March, A.D. 1261.
There are comparatively few references or deeds re-
lating to St. Michael's Grange, and St. Michael's Mill,
near by, on the Kenfig River. The Cistercian Order
seldom came into contact with the secular Courts, and
one of the few instances in which it was done occurs in
connection with St. Michael's Grange.
The proceedings at the Glamorgan County Court
before Gilbert de Ellesfeld, Sheriff of Glamorgan, are
recorded (T. 229 ; C. MCLXXXII), and whereat Brother
John was indicted for robbing David de Gower of fifteen-
pence at the Borwes (burrows or sand-dunes) ; and
Brother Meuric, of St. Michael's Grange, for giving money
and food to John ap Griffith and Rees ap Griffith, felons
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 19
and outlaws ; but the accused say they are brethren and
conversi (lay brethren) of the Abbey of Morgan, and there-
fore they ought to appear before their own ordinaries ;
it is asked of them if they are clerks ordained, and if
they know how to read, and a book is given to them,
for proof that they declare themselves professed religious,
i.e., monks, and are not bound to answer. And there-
upon came Master David ap Rees, clerk by virtue of
the Bishop of LlaridafTs commission, to him, and caused
the accused to be delivered to him for trial in an Eccle-
siastical Court. But the Sheriff and the said Master
David disputed whether the delinquents were professed,
and so entitled to their privilege of clergy. Eventually
the Sheriff admitted the plea, and made inquest whether
they (Brothers John and Meuric) were guilty or not, so as
to deliver them up to the said David : they were tried,
found not guilty, and released. Cardiff, 26 May, 32
Edw. Ill, A.D. 1358.
Fine impression of the Seal of Cardiff Chancery, green
wax, chipped, 3j in. diam.
Obverse: an armed knight, with hauberk, sword, helmet,
crested with a griffin's head and wings, erect, and shield
of arms ; riding to the right on a horse caparisoned with
the same arms.
SIGILLTJM ; KDWARDI : LE : DESPENSER .... AMORGAN:
Z : MORG .
Reverse : a shield of the same arms, slung by the guige,
upon a forked tree, within an elaborately-traced bilobe or
panel of cusped Gothic openwork.
SIGILLUM : CANCEL (l.ARIE) DE : KA1RDIF.
Endorsed : Inquisicio pro felonicis.
The rivers Afan and Kenfig were good salmon and
sewin rivers — and indeed were until recent years, when
works were established in the valleys and spoiled them.
There were constant disputes about the fishing, and in
A.D. 13«5 we find the record of a mandate (T. 231 ;
C. MCLXXXVII) by the Rector of Coytif and the Rural Dean
of Gronyth (Groneath), special commissioners to Thomas
Louel, Clerk, to cite John Philip of Kenefeg, Rees ap
20 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
Griff' Gethyn of Avene (Aberavan), Hoel ap Griff' Hagur,
and others, to appear before the commissaries in answer
to a charge of unlawful fishing in Kenefeeg is Foil1 and
in the Avene, brought against them by Margam Abbey,
on pain of excommunication. Dated, Coytif, 2 Nov., A.D.
13G5. They appeared, and the proceedings take the
form of a record (T. 232; C. MCLXXXVIII) of a process
before the Dean of Gronyth, in the Church of Kenefeeg,
in the case between the Abbot and Rees ap Griff' Gethyn,
and others, concerning the taking of fish in the Avene by
the said Rees and the others : wherein the said Rees
confesses that he took fish in the water and fishery of
Avene, and said that he had taken them justly. He
was ordered to prove his right on the following Monday
at Newcastle Church (Bridgend). John Philpot and the
other confess to having fished in the water and fishery
of Kenfig and Avene, and are left to the grace and
absolution of the Abbot. Eventually, at Kenfig, Rees
delivered in his defence that his ancestors had forfeited
their jurisdiction in their Courts, and the Abbot ex-
hibited deeds of appropriation, confirmation, and agree-
ment to prove their right. Then Rees admitted that
after Robert Fitzhaymon had conquered the here-
ditary land of him (Rees), and others, with the water
and fishery in dispute two hundred and seventeen years
past, he, the said Robert, gave the said fishery to Margam
Abbey in recompense for injuries it had received at the
hands of his (Rees') ancestors. 6 Nov., A.D. 1365.
Subsequently (T. 233 ; C. MCXC), at an Assize at
Novel-dissein, before a jury of twelve, in the Glamorgan
County Court at Cardiff, Wore Sir Edward de Strate-
lyng, Knt. (le Esterling), Sheriff of Glamorgan and
Morgan, John Abbot of Margam recovers forty shillings
damages and his fishery of salmons, gillyngs, suwyngs,
and other fish in the water of Avene, from the head
thereof to the place where it goes into the sea (the
fishery is worth £10 yearly), against Rees, son of Griffin
Gethyn, and Howel, son of Griffin Hagqr, each of whom
1 Kenefeeg is Foil in the deed = Kenfig Pool. The pool is not con-
nected with the river, and is surrounded by high ground and sand-
dunes, and has no visible outlet.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 21
is fined 3d. damages. Monday before Midsummer Day,
Some of the land near, and no doubt belonging to the
Grange of St. Michael, was given by members of the
Gramus family. A somewhat interesting deed in the
Harley Charter, 75 C. 7 (T. 289, 40 ; C. DCCCCXX), is a
quit-claim by Roger Gramus to the monks of Margam, of a
rent of half a silver mark yearly rent, due by them to
him, paying a yearly recognisance of a pair of white
gloves, or Id. at Easter, and to his wife, Agnes, a prebend
yearly for her support, viz., she is to have every week
seven conventual loaves and five gallons of beer from the
Convent ; a crannoc1 of gruellum (meal), the same amount
of beans, and a bushel of salt, once yearly at Michaelmas.
Dated, Midsummer Day, A.D. 1245.
St. Michael's Mill lies just to the south of the Grange,
on the Margam side of the Kenfig river. The buildings
are comparatively new.
In the Crown Sale to Sir Rice Manxell, Knight, we find
included with the site of the late dissolved Abbey, the
church, bell-tower, the fishery in the water of the Avene,
various granges and lands — "St. Michael's Grange." The
sum was £938 6s. 8d., a sum equal in our days to over
£9,000. All to be held as the last Abbot Lodowicus
Thomas held them, for the twentieth part of a knight's
And in the Crown Sale (T. 366 ; C. MCCCLX) for
£678 Is. 6d., also to Sir Rice Maunxell, Knight, we find
included with various manors and lands, " Seynt
Mychaelles Mille, in the parish of Margam." The sum
paid is equal to £6,700 in our days.
The Great Seal of King Henry VIII, in bronze-green
wax, is still appended to the documents, by green and
white silk strands. The first document is dated 22 June,
32 Hen. VIII, A.D. 1540.
T. 227 ; C. MCLXVIII. This a quit-claim by William de
Marie to Margam Abbey, of pasture for oxen, cows, and
other beasts in the Grange of Saint Michaele, which " ex
quadam animi levitate" he had once claimed, as if he had
1 Cranock — 10 bushels.
22 NOTES ON THE GKANGKS OF MARGAM ABBEY.
any right therein ; he is, however, " now moved by the
spirit of truth," " noveritis me spiritu ductum veritatis."
Margarn, Midsummer Day, A.D. 1344.
Llantnihangel. The " mi-hangel" stands for Mich-angel,
like the French Michel Ange. Haf Bach Mihangel cor-
responds to St. Luke's Little Summer, October 18th. The
festival is Gwyl Fihangel ; note the mutation so frequent
in Welsh, " m" into "f." St. Michael's Mill was let to
tenants. An extract from the Court of Abbot John at
Kenfig (T. 284 : C. MCCCXXVIII), whereby Thomas ap
David ap Hoell, John ap Thomas, David ap Hoell, and
John ap John, his son, are admitted tenants in the
water-mill called " Seynt Mizchell is Mylle," rent, 40s.,
and court suit, two capons or 4c£. for entry. Before
Sir Mathew Cradock, Knight, Steward. 15th October,
It is much to be regretted that no record of any kind
has been kept of the old Granges' buildings ; all have
been rebuilt except part of the Court farm and the new
Grange (in ruins), and Theodoric's Grange (in ruins). At
Hafod, I found a part of a window-jamb in Sutton stone
—the stone used so much by mediaeval builders in these
parts. It is soft when freshly quarried, and hardens by
time, and is a nice creamy white in colour A. former
tenant of Hafod informed me of a stone which is there,
and which has a hole through it ; he believed, he said
to me, it was used for some devilish practices of the
Catholics ! It is, no doubt, the stone which was attached
to the piscina — a drain-pipe. •
I was surprised to see, so far from the Abbey ruins, or
quarry, as it was for years, at Farteg farm, north of
Hafod, many dressed Sutton stones in its walls. It
occurred to me they never would cart these stones from
the Abbey so many miles, and up such steep roads, and
that they must have been brought from the chapel of
Hafod when it was demolished.
There are two ways of reaching the sleepy hollow in
which lies this Grange with its noble barn : a barn so
high and long that one thinks, a little way off, it is the
nave of a church. One way is from the turnpike road at
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 23
Pyle, turning off at right angles, arid where you come to
a round-headed stone inscribed with a cross of equal arms,
12 or 13 ins. long1 — it now marks the Parliamentary
boundary — you turn off into a narrow lane, and pass
through the mill-yard (St. Michael's Mill), and on again
through a lane, and, as I say, the first sight of the great
high barn strikes you as being a church. " Hen ysgubor"
it is called — " the old barn." The tenant told me it had
been a tithe- barn. The other is along the Roman road,
and across the sands, but it is a terribly bad one.
The barn is on higher ground than the house itself.
It is 109 ft. in length, 31 ft. in width, and 18 ft. 6 in. in
height to the eaves. The whole barn inside is plastered
to the ceiling ; the openings for air and light are widely
splayed inwards, with dressed Quarella stone-work,
shaped to the splay, similar to those in the centre dormer
window of the Grange of Theodoric's Hermitage.2 Two
great doorways open opposite each other in the centre of
the building, and these are spurred at each side. The
whole building has the lower part of the side walls
spurred out towards the base ; the only other building I
know of in Margam having this strengthening at the base
is the New Grange, now known as the Old Pine End —
" Hen Biniwn." The barn was covered with tile-stones,
but the roof fell in recently, the weight, coupled with the
rotting of the timber- work, probably caused the collapse.
The farmhouse is interesting, and, so far as I can
judge, may well be of late Abbey times.1 The ceiling
and bedroom floors are supported on massive oak beams.
Each window has a square label, which is hollowed ; the
jambs and mullions are stone.3 The large boiler in the
yard is in a peculiar recess in the kitchen wall. This
recess has jambs in stone, in section, the same as the
window-jambs and mullions. The walls are also spurred
at the base, similarly to the barn.
1 This cross is known locally as Groes Siencyn. I have not been
able to find any record of it.
2 See plan of building and details in " The Hermitage of Theodoric
and Site of Pendar," Arch. (Jamb., April, 1903.
3 Mr. J. T. Micklethwaite writes me that the date of the window at
St. Michael's may be circa A.D. 1600 ... "It is not safe to give an
opinion from a drawing of one example, without knowledge of the
work of the neighbourhood."
24 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
The Grange of St. Michael stands only at a level of 50
ft. above the sea, and nearly all round it are hills of 1 00
ft. high, which nestle close about it ; so it is no wonder
the river, which runs close to the house, had difficulty in
finding its way safe to sea, and turns and twists so. A.S
I said before, anyone standing and looking at the Kenfig
(Cenfig it should be, as " k " was never born in Welsh),
and knowing on which hand lay the Severn Sea would
think the river had turned from its saltness, and was
going again towards the hills whence it had but just
come. So hot is this sleepy hollow in the sultry summer
days, that the dairy has to be covered with turf, and is
now a bright green patch of grass.
The Kenfig soon relents and turns again to sea — the
sea where *' Hafren" and her mother were drowned. In
Geoffrey of Monmouth we read that Locrinus, son of
Brutus, divided the land of Britain between his brother
Camber and Albanactus and himself, and destroyed
Humber, King of the Huns. He found in a ship belong-
ing to Humber three ladies of celestial beauty. One was
Essyllt, who became his queen, and gave her name to
the land of Wye and Usk, and the other Hafren, who
gave her name to the Severn Sea, and the Welsh keep it
The " big barn" lies true north and south, and the front
of the farm faces south.
In the South Pine end of the barn are two rows of
pigeon-holes, with ledges above the holes. The holes do
not pass through the wall. On the North Pine End of the
farmhouse are exactly similar pigeon-holes. The house
is about 85 ft. in length, and is nearly true north and
south in position.
We find no mention of this Grange in the Margam
Abbey deeds until the end had come. In the Crown
Sale (T. 362 ; C. MOCCLl) to Sir Rice Manxell, Knight, for
£642 9s. Sd. — a sum equal in our days to £6,400 — of the
Manors of Horgrove and Pylle (Pyle), and various lands
and granges, we find mentioned Egloose Nunney. In
the same deed it is also spelled Egloyse Nunny. The
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 25
sum of £642 9s. 8d. was later reduced to £300 by the
King in A.D. 1544.
Writing about a sculptured stone at this farm, Profes-
sor Westwood calls it " the cross of the Nunnery Farm."
On the Ordnance Map the farm is called Eglwysnunyd1 —
" on site of Nunnery." It was never a nunnery, and how
it came to be so called I never could make out. It is
simply one of the Abbey Granges, with its chapel dedi-
cated to St. Non, or Nonnita, the mother of St. David.
Probably " nynyd " is the Welsh adaptation of Non, or
Nonnita, or Nonna — Eglwys St. Nunyd — the church of
St. Non. ' Breton legends state that the miracle play of
St. Nonna was performed at Dirinon, a parish in Brittany
(Baring Gould's Welsh Saints, pp. 189, 190, and Arch.
Camb., 3rd Ser., vol. iii, p. 256).
Eglwysnunyd is pleasantly situated on the old Roman
road — the Via Julia Maritima — and at a level of
about 65 ft. above Ordnance datum. The old Reman
road is now known as Water Street. Two hundred yards
south of the farm is the Roman miliary stone, bearing
the inscription —
in debased Latin capitals.
Professor Westwood says it bears locally the name
" Bedd Morgan Morgan wg"-— the "Sepulchre of Prince
Morgan." The stone has also Ogam characters marked
on it, as will be observed (see over).
Eglwysnunyd was formerly a Gothic building, with
narrow lancet windows, but entirely rebuilt. A little
only remains of the original structure. From one of the
rooms a flight of steps leads to a deep vault or archway,
now bricked up, and tradition has it that this was one
entrance to a subterranean passage which led to Margam
Abbey. I am unable to say if there is any truth in the
tradition, but my friend Mr. W. S. Powell, who formerly
lived there, told me he had seen the entrance of this
passage at the bottom of the steps, but how far it
1 In the Crown Sale to Sir Rice Mansel it is called Egloose Nunney,
and this phonetic spelling gives us the right name. There is a chapel
called Capel Nonny in Cardiganshire, and one near St. Davids, Capel
JS'uimy, both dedicated to St. Non.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
extended he did not know. This farm is one of the best
in the estate of Margam.
Eglwysnunyd stands on the edge of an irregular ridge,
(varying from 50 to 300 ft. above sea-level. From the
300 ft. level the mountains rise quickly to 600 ft., and
Pumpciuu Carantorius Stone,
then, but not so abruptly, to 1,000 ft. altitude), between
Margarn mountains and the sea. From the land the ridge
slopes to the large plain called Morfa Mawr, which has a
level varying from 12 ft. to 21 ft. above sea-level, most
of which, as I have before remarked, was in Abbey times
covered with the tide, especially at high springs. From
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 27
Eglwysnunyd a fine view is obtained of the plain below,
fringed with the sand-dunes, and the glittering sea
beyond. The whole of the four miles of piled- up sand-
hills can be seen, the result of " inundations of the sea,"
as it is termed in a deed recited in T. 253 (C. MCCLII).
This deed refers to the injury done to the Abbey of
Margam by Owen Glyndower, and for that reason King
Henry VI grants the restitution of lands, etc., lying
between Ukgemore (Ogmore) and Gar we (Garw) called
Egliskeinwir1 (now Llangeinor), and because of injury
done by " various innundations of the sea, for upwards of
: The deed runs, " Nos igitur in consideracionem per-
missorurn ac eciam pro eo quod dicta ecclesia grangie
et domus eidem pertinentes tempore rebellionis WALLI&
spoliate et destructe fuerunt per OWYNUM DE GLENDORE
et complices suos, et ulterius quod terre dominice dicte
abbatie et grangie ejusdem submerse sunt et destructe
per inundaciones aquarum maris per spacium quatuor
miliariorum et ultra." Dated under Royal seal of the
Duchy of Lancaster, at Westminster Palace, 28 April,
Hen. VI, A.D. 1440.
Eglwysnunyd, as I have said before, stands on the
Roman Road, the Via Julia Maritima, and in thinking
of the Welsh name for the road, " Heol-y-troedwyr,"
" Road of the Foot-soldiers or Infantry," one can imagine,
on a still, calm night, that one hears the tramp of the
soldiers of the Second Legion, whose headquarters, were
at Caerleon, passing along on the road to Neath (Nidum)
and Loughor (Leucarum) ; Welsh, Llwchwr. The tradi-
tion of the Roman occupation became lost in the mists
of ages, and the inhabitants thought the name Heol-y-
troedwyr must be Heol troad-dwr, " the road of the
turning of the water ;" and so it is called to-day,
shortened into " Water Street " in English.
A little north of Eglwysnunyd is Cwrt-y-defaid, or, as it
is named in the Crown Sale to Sir Rice Mansel, " Shepes
My lie".; Cwrt-y-defaid is Sheep Court, or Farm. It is
now the saw-mill for the estate. The mill-race is fed by
the same stream that worked Cryke Mill, three-quarters
1 Eglwys — church ; Keinwir— St. Oeinwir. " Llan" now is used for
church ; formerly it meant an enclosure.
28 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
of a mile to the north. The race also fed the Abbey fish-
ponds, " stagna vivaria," as they are termed in the Crown
At Cwrt-y-defaid is a bridge over the mill-race stream
called Pont-yr-Offeiriad, the Priest's Bridge. On the
opposite side of the road from the Mill at Cvvrt-y-defaid
is a mound called Beggar's Bush — why so named I could
never find out, unless the beggars going from the Abbey
in old days rested there to enjoy the food given them at
the Abbey ; or, I think it still more probable, the mendi-
cant friars, who were not regarded with friendly eyes by
the Monastic Orders, may have used the knoll as a resting-
place, preaching from it and begging from the passers-by :
hence the name, " Beggars' Bush." The high road passed
close to the Abbey in those days ; it was diverted several
years ago from the Abbey and straightened. The new
part was made in the days when, as the late Mr. C. R. M.
Talbot once told me, the Abbey was the quarry for the
neighbourhood, for in the walls are dressed Sutton
stones, with here and there carved bases of pillars and
capitals from the ruins. I have an idea that Shepes
Mylle was a woollen or fulling mill for making the
woollen garments for the monks and the servants.
What a terrible age was that which set in in the
Georgian days, when the priceless Early-English work in
the choir of the Abbey church was pulled down, and the
stones carted all over the parish, and used in building
walls, barns, and pig-styes ; when the arcades and pillars
of the nave of the church — the older Norman work — were
pitted with holes to retain plaster, and then plastered
over, the interior filled with unsightly pews, and an
elaborate pulpit erected against one of the pillars. The
better altar-frontal was reserved for the periods in which
the family resided at Margam, and the shabbier one put
on when they were absent. But a great change came;
a renaissance had slowly but surely arrived : the pews
were banished, the plaster removed, showing the stone-
work of the severe Norman period once more ; open
seats replaced the box-pews, and the church was changed
ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
By THOMAS GRAY, ESQ., V.D., J.P., M.INST. C.E.
(Continued from p. 29.)
LE NEWS GRANGE.
HIS is marked on the Ordnance Map as
the remains of a Grange. I believe it is
the Grange known in the Abbey deeds
as Le Newe Grange, and I think so
from the sea-wall which is close to it
being called " Gwal-y-Cwrt Newydd,"
Wall of the New Court or Grange. The
building, parts of which remain, stands on the marsh,
16 ft. above Ordnance datum. Before the sea-walls were
made, the tide flowing up the estuary — which I will
refer to more particularly when treating of the Grange
of Theodoricus, which stood on the opposite side-
reached close up to it. This Grange, was a large build-
ing, and having a road — now called " Heol-y-deiliad,"
the Tenant's Road — leading straight from it to the
Abbey, was probably the Home Farm, and supplied the
Abbey with its produce ; it has all round it the fertile
86 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
South Siile of Le Newe Grange.
— I — /aurr
Details of Doorway of Le Newe Grange.
lands of the great plain, between the mountains and the
sea-shore, named Morfa. Morfa means a marsh on, or
near, the sea-shore.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 87
The doorway in the Pine End has a flattened arch-
stone, with chamfer, which was continued down the jamb
shown in detailed sketch.1 In the south side of the part
or former room (of which the Pine End remains), which
is 87 ft. long by about 30 ft. in width, are splayed
window-openings, which had jambs of the same section
as the westernmost window in the Grange of Theodoric.
The Grange occupied three sides of a square, and each
Old Pine End, Le Newe Grange.
building is about the same size. The south wing had
its doorway on the south side. Although no traces
remain above ground, I believe the buildings extended
northward, and exploration would undoubtedly discover
them. The square holes in the Pine End are puzzling,
unless they were for scaffolding. The openings in the
south wall of the south part are merely narrow openings,
splayed inwards, like those of a barn. The whole of
the walls are spurred outward at the base. I found two
1 Now broken into two parts.
88 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
of the window-jambs of Sutton stone, with holes for
saddle-bars (see section in details above). I do not think
this Grange was provided with a chapel, on account of
its nearness to the Abbey, to which the conversi could
go ; and later, as I show further on, the chapel in the
woods, "Cryke Chapel," was built for the tenants around
the Abbey. The Old Pine End is known locally as Hen
Biniwn, Welsh for Old Pine End.
GROES-WEN GRANGE — BLESSED CROSS GRANGE.
This grange is pleasantly situated just below the
opening of a dingle called Cwm Geifr — Goats' Valley. It
stands about 120 ft. above sea-level or Ordnance datum.
Of this Grange we read but little, except the leases
mentioned later on, until we come to the Crown Sale
(T. 359 ; C. MCCCXLIV), to Sir Eice Manxell, Knight,
in which the abbey church and various granges are sold
for £938 6s. Sd. In this sale, Groes-wen appears as
" White Crosse Grange." I have no doubt wen, i.e.,
gwen — white — is used here in the sense of blessed, as it
often is. In the first verse of the first Psalm, for in-
stance, we have : " Gwyn ei fyd y gwr ni rodia y'
nghynghor yr annuwiolion " — " Blessed is the man,"
etc. Here, then, is an example of gwyn — white — being
used for blessed. Groes is feminine, therefore the feminine
adjective, gwen, wen, is used : gwyn is masculine. In
the " Breuddwyd Mair"-— " Mary's Dream"— the Blessed
Virgin is called Mam Wen Fair — "Blessed Mother
A little over half a mile to the east of Groes-wen Farm
is a cross on the top of the mountain, made of embanked
earth and grass-covered. The arms are of equal length,
and measure 140 feet across. It is a very striking object
when viewed from a little higher ground. The Ordnance
Map has it, " Cross, on site of Cairn." Where the sur-
veyors obtained the information that a cairn existed
there, I know not. I have recently had some cor-
respondence with the Ordnance officials, with the result
that the words "on site of Cairn" are not to appear in
future maps. The cross is evidently a memorial of an
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 89
important site or event, and it has given the name to
places along the mountain side, on the top of which it is
situated — Brombil mountain, a spur of the great Margam
mountain. There is the village of Y Groes (The Cross) ;
the farm near by, Lan-ton-y-groes j1 the farm, Groes- wen ;
Groes-wen-ganol,2 a cottage now, formerly probably a
small farm; an ancient farm, now taken down, Groes-wen-
bellaf,3 and the little group of houses named Ton-y-groes.*
No tradition exists as to the cross, and therefore all
ideas about it must be conjectural.5
Tn the lolo MSS., p. 599, we read, " Maesmawr is the
name of the country in which the Monastery of Margam
now is," so that all round Margam Abbey the land was
called Maesmawr, probably after the forests were burnt
by the Welsh, and so a large open space was created,
as the name suggests. Terrific battles were fought
between the Welsh and the Romans, " and the bones
of the Romans slain by Caractacus whitened the
land like snow " (lolo MSS.). We also read of a
prison built of these bones, made into lime ; the
walls were also covered with the bones of those slain in
the fierce battles around. It was of circular form and
wonderful magnitude, and the larger bones were on the
outer face of the walls, and within the circle many
prisons and other cells were under the ground, places
for traitors to their country. This was called the
prison of Oeth and Annoeth (open and concealed), in
memorial of what the Cymry and Caradoc their King
had done for their country and race, in defeating the
Romans so easily when the trees from the shores of the
Severn to the banks of the Towey had been burnt down.
Could the prison have been on this spot, which long
afterwards the monks sought to consecrate by making
thereon this great cross ? On the flat ground at the foot
1 Lan-ton-y-groes. The sward inclosure of the Cross.
2 Groes-wen-ganol. Middle Groes-wen.
3 Groes-wen-bellaf. Further Groes-wen.
4 Ton-y-groes. The green sward of the Cross.
5 Since writing the above, I have heard there is a tradition in the
neighbourhood, that the Cross marks, and as it were consecrates, the
burial-place of a number of soldiers.
90 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
of the mountain and under the cross, one of the fields
has the name Maesmawr ; perhaps the last piece to be
enclosed of the greater Maesmawr.
As I have mentioned before, important entrenchments,
British and Roman, are found about two miles from this
cross, and the grave of Bodvoc lies but 2J miles east from
it. Stirring scenes had doubtless taken place on these
mountains, and I believe the monks made the cross to
mark the burial-place of a large number of the slain.
For, "in the course of a long time, the bones became
decayed . . . and they were reduced to dust. Then
they carried the remains and put them on the surface
of the ploughed land, and from that time they had
astonishing crops of wheat and barley. . "l Even, as I
think, they cut the cross on Bodvoc's sepulchral stone,
knowing him to have been a Christian, from the formula,
" hie jacet " — " here lies (the body of) — ".
An interesting document referring to Groeswen is a
lease — dated 20 years before the end — of the reversion
of the grange called " Le White Crosse" (note the use of
the French " le" for " the"), after the decease of Catherine
Nerber, by David, Abbot of Margam and the Convent
therein, to Gwladus verz (verch, daughter) Jeuan ap
David ap Jankyn, for sixty years ; bounded from the
tenement of William ap Owen ap Jeuan ap Madoc to-
wards " Row-theris/' and from " Row-theris" to the
tenement of Gwladus verz (verch, daughter) David ap
Yorath, and from that as the " Gwosse" water goes down
to the high road to the bridge there, and from that
bridge to a stone set up in the Salt-marsh near the water
" Raneth ;" also a tenement called " Mays Melyn," and
" Cay Lloyd," late held by Jeuan ap David Jacke, and
then by Hugh ap John ap Jankyn, at a yearly rent of
twelve and a-half crannocs of pure barley, (a cranock =
10 bushels), and for the said tenement 6sh. Sd. The
said lessee to provide a jentaculum or dinner "for the
Convent yearly, easement for carriage of glebe to the sea,
and a heriot.
Dated, February, 8 Henry VI II (A.D. 1517).
1 lolo MSS.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 91
The tenements or cottages of William and of Gwladus
verch David ap Yorath still exist, that of the latter being
probably the oldest house on Margam Estate. The
" Row-theris" — Rhiw-ddyrys ( = the steep lane difficult
of passage), is the same to-day, steep and narrow, with
bushes and brambles crowding in on each side. The
" Gwosse" is there, flowing from Cwm Geifr, but now
nameless. Gwosse probably means Cwysig, a furrow or
narrow ditch : this is characteristic of the brook, it
flows on the marshes in a narrow ditch. The fields,
" Mays Melyn" (Maes Melyn = yellow field) and Cay Lloyd
(Cae Llwyd = gray field) are still known by these names.
The stone set up by the water Raneth is, I believe, the
stone at the end of the parapet wall of the little bridge
over the " Raneth" (Raneth = Rheanell, a little stream,
called locally Ranallt).
The providing the jentaculum can be understood ; we
are not told if the dinner was to be eaten at Groeswen or
at Margam. But it is puzzling to know the meaning of
the carriage of glebe to the sea.
In a deed, dated 9 August, A.D. 1575, Leyson Evans,
of Neath, assigns to John Lawrens all his remainder of a
lease of the Grange of Whitt-crosse, with Maes Melyne
and Kay Lloyd, for an unexpired term, by deed of
February, 8 Henry VIII, of the demise of the Abbot and
Convent of the late Monastery of Margam.
In the Margam and Penrice MSS. is a lease by Sir
Edward Mansell, of Oxwich, to John Lawrens, of
" Whitcrosse Grainge," in the parish of Margam, for
21 years, " formerly in the tenure of Gwladis verz Jeuan
ap David ap Jenkin." Dated 1st April, A.D. 1578.
GRUGWALLT GRANGE — "CRYKE."
Grug — heather, and gallt, allt — steep : the steep,
heather-clad mountain. The Norman scribe has taken
great liberties with this word : he disdains the last
syllable, and adds an " e" to the first, to make it short
and crisp, or frisky, like the summer breezes on the top
of the steep. The pronunciation of Grug approaches
somewhat to "Crik," so he was not far out in the first
92 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
syllable. The farm is 550 ft. above sea-level. We find
this Grange mentioned for the first time in the Crown
Sale (T. 362 ; C. MCCCLI) to Rice Manxell, Knight, for
£642 9s. 8d., among other granges, manors, mills, and
" landes." Lands in " Cryke," and the site of the water-
mill called "Cryke Mylle," attested by the King at
Terlying (Terling), county Essex, 5th August, 35 Hen.
VIII, A.D. 1543. The King afterwards consented to
accept from Sir Rice £300 in lieu of the £642 9s. Sd., a
good bargain for Sir Rice.
The buildings of Grugwallt Fawr are for the most part
new, but the remains of the mill still exist, on the edge
of the ornamental water, near the mansion of Miss Talbot.
The streams from Cwm Philip, Cwm Maelog, and Cwm
Bath, formerly flowed past and worked the mill, now
they fall into the pond above the mill. Cwm Bath is
named so from an ancient Holy Well, which still exists,
but there is no tradition regarding it. It is singular
that, although the monks were at Margam nearly 400
years, no tradition of any kind lives in the parish
I used to think the Wendderi valley was the prettiest
I had seen, but now I must give the apple to the sister,
Cwm Maelwg. I had not visited Cwm Maelwg for twenty
years, and " out of sight, out of mind ; " but on visiting
it again on the 4th of May this year, I was delighted
with the fair aspect : all was still in the valleys, save for
the bleat of lambs, the cuckoo's note, and the murmur-
ing of the stream below. The trees were, for the
most part, still in winter garb, but here and there one
more venturesome than the other was clothed in vivid
green, so bright against the brown of the bracken-covered
hills — those rounded hills that seem so old and stern.
From here the hills rise in gradual slope, and seem as if
they wished to touch the skies; high up, clad only in the
russet coloured. bracken, the lower slopes, sombre in the
gathering twilight, with deep dark green of fir trees.
Here is a well quaintly named to express such thoughts
as mine : " Ffynon-y-drych fannau "— " The Well of the
Fair Aspect of Places." Up this valley passed the Roman
soldiers on their way from the Via Julia Maritima of
Called the Bath by the People.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 93
the plains to the high lands ; and nearly eight centuries
later came the white-robed monks, who doubtless often
viewed the same scene, and loved its quiet reposefulness,
and left it with regret. As so frequently occurs in these
valleys, the entrance is narrow, so that you seem shut in
all round. This valley and Cwm Philip are just behind
the monastery. I believe the valley is named Cwm
Maelwg, after St. Maelwg. Probably one of the three
saints to whom Capel Trisant was dedicated, as I have
Chapel of Cryke, Grugwallt. — In the woods under
Grugwallt are the ruins of the little chapel, " Hen
Eglwys," Old Church, and "Capel Papishod," Papist
Chapel; " Papishod," a colloquial corruption of Papistiad,
are the names given to it by the people. It is only
two hundred yards in direct bee-line from the Abbey
itself, and it is certainly much larger than would be
needed for the conversi of the three Grugwallts, if three
farms existed there as now. It is about 67 ft. in length
by about 24 ft. in width, and had evidently been a hand-
some building ; a beautiful piscina remained in situ until
quite recently ; now the bowl has disappeared, the two
supporting pillars and the niche alone remaining. It
stands about 300 ft. above sea-level, or Ordnance datum,
and from it you look right down on to the Abbey Church
I had long puzzled over the raison d'etre of this chapel
so near the Abbey Church ; but I think its existence is
due to the fact of the letting of the farms and granges of
the estate. The conversi who worked the farms Grug-
wallt, Blaen Maelwg, Cwm Maelwg, Cwm, Ynis, Tyn
Coed, and the Mill of Cryke, were doubtless accus-
tomed, being in the near neighbourhood of the Abbey, to
attend the Abbey Church; but when from 1470 A.D., and
onwards to the end, they were replaced by secular
tenants, it was found necessary to build a chapel for the
latter, and near enough to be served by a priest from the
Abbey. The chapel was placed high up on the mountain
side, so as to be convenient for the hill-farmers. The
perpendicular architecture of the chapel, too, agrees with
94 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
this date, and I think we are safe, therefore, in placing its
erection at about A.D. 1470.
There would be the case of lepers, too ; they would not
be allowed within the Abbey precints, but would go to
the lepers' window — if such there was — in the chapel of
Cryke, and there receive the Holy Communion, passed to
them through it. This, however, is pure conjecture.
Why do people call it Capel Papishod (Capel Papistiad),
Papist Chapel ? 1 believe it is so called from the proba-
bility of Mass being secretly celebrated in the chapel,
owing to its secluded position, for those who refused to
accept the new order of services in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, when the Pope excommunicated the Queen,
and called upon his adherents to resort no longer to the
The orientation of the chapel is 13 deg. south of true
east. That of the Abbey Church is due true east ; Capel
Trisant about due true east.
Here is an opportunity for ascertaining the dedication
of the chapel, if there is anything in the idea of the
orientation being in accordance with the rising of the sun
on the Saint's Day to whom the dedication is made.
Here are two churches : the Abbey Church, dedicated to
St. Mary being due east, and the chapel, only 200 yards
away to the north, being 13 deg. south of east, and the
dedication unknown. The orientation due to St. David
is nearest; thus in Wales, March 1st, 12 deg. south of
east. Mr. Geo. Watson, of Penrith, in his Orientation
and Dedications of Ancient Churches in England and
Wales, proves, I think conclusively, that the ancient
churches are not orientated, according to sunrise on the
day of the saint to whom they were dedicated. I think
the foundations were laid out to the rising sun on the
day of the marking out. Mr. Watson gives a quotation
from Aubrey, who quotes from Captain Silas Taylor : '« In
days of yore, when a church was to be built, they
watched and prayed on the Vigil of the dedication,
and took that point of the horizon when the Sun arose
for the East, which makes the variation so that few
stand true east, except those built between or at the two
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 95
THE GRANGE OP THEODORIC'S HERMITAGE.1
So we find it styled in the Bull of Pope Urban III,
directed to the Abbot and Brethren, in response to their
request taking them under the protection of St. Peter
and the Pope, and ordaining that the Monastic Order,
in accordance with the rule of St. Benedict and the
constitutions of the Cistercians, be kept for ever invio-
late ; and confirming to them certain grants, among
which appears the " Grange of Theodoric's Hermitage,
with its appurtenances." Dated at Verona, 18th Novem-
ber, A.D. 1186.
In the foundation charter, or the Inspeximus of it,
rather, we find the Hermitage of Theodoric mentioned as
a landmark in the description of the boundary, as we have
seen in the first chapter of these notes. Seeing the
Abbey was founded in A.D. 1147 (Annales de Margan,
quoted before), the Hermitage, as a monastic establish-
ment, had evidently been superseded by the Cistercian
Abbey, for, in the Papal Bull thirty-nine years after the
founding of the Abbey, we find it styled a Grange.
In 1894 I was so fortunate as to receive from Miss
Talbot of Margam, vol. i of the Margam and Penrice MSS.,
by Dr. de Gray Birch, a catalogue and description of the
monastic deeds and other documents which belonged to
the muniment chest of the Abbey. For the first time I
knew of the existence at one time in the parish of the
Hermitage of Theodoricus, and that its site was near the
mouth of the Avan (or Afan) River, and just to the east of
it. The wording of the charter makes these points clear :
" That is to say, all the lands which extend between
Kenfig, and the further bank of the water of the further
Afan, which is to the west of the Hermitage of Theo-
doricus as the water aforesaid descends from the moun-
tains" This describes the extent of the lands along the
lowlands on the sea shore. "All this land I grant to the
monks as it goes through the mountains, namely, from the
source of Kenefeg Water between the source of Rudelf
1 See " The Hermitage of Theodoric and Site of Pendar" for plan
of building, tiles, piacina, etc., Arch. Camb., April, 1903.
(Ffrwdwyllt), and Gelli-fret (Gelli-vrith)1 on to Red-
Kewelthi (Rhyd Gyfylchu), that is the ford of Kewelthi,
into Aven" (The italics are mine). The latter part
describes the boundaries among the hills and at the
Several years ago I found tile-stones among the sand-
dunes near the old mouth of the Afan, and later some
green glazed earthenware tiles, some flat and some ridge
or crest tiles. In 1898 I had the sand cleared off from a
pile of stones, and found a building 85 ft. in length. I
was unable to get to the floor, by reason of water pre-
venting further progress unless a pump was used. I also,
two years ago found, among the ruins at the east end,
part of a piscina or holy- water stoup, clearly showing the
existence of a chapel at the Grange.
The upper windows, three in number, were dormer
windows ; inside of each there was a recess, very like the
seats to be seen in old castles ; but these, of course, were
too narrow for that. The stone-work of the centre one
is superior to that of the other two, and perhaps it shows
this to have been the guest-chamber.
The quoins, jambs of the windows, and the mullion of
the easternmost window are of green Collwn or Quarella
The iron stanchions and saddle-bars in the westernmost
window, and in the little centre window, are almost
perfect, as also are the shutter-hooks still remaining
inside the easternmost window. The small window west
of the doorway is 10 in. wide by 7 in. high; it has three
iron stanchions and one saddle-bar.
The stone steps leading from the basement are very
narrow, 7 in. tread and 7 in. rise ; through the top step
runs a square hole ; it probably was used for holding the
upper part of a hand-rail, which would be necessary with
such narrow steps.
I found traces of walls quite 100 yards away from the
1 Gelli-vrith = " variegated grove," i.e., varying tints of the trees.
One of the Margam deeds is endorsed, 17th seventeenth-century hand-
writing : " Pant-y-Vlayddast id est Gethlifreth," " the hollow of the
female wolf, that is Gethli-freth."
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 97
main building, showing that the outbuildings were
The north walls of the building are covered by a high
bank of sand, and I have made no attempt to uncover
them as yet.
The line of the front of the building is 12 deg. north of
east, and would be the orientation of the chapel at the
The green-glazed ridge tiles are similar to those found
at Llantwit Major Church (see in the April number, 1900,
of the Archceologia Cambrensis, the Paper by Mr. G. E.
Halliday). Similar tiles were found in Nicholaston
Church, Gower (Davies' West Gower, vol. iv, plate, oppo-
site p. 496), and at Cardiff Castle.
I came to the conclusion that these ruins, situated as
they are in the position stated in the Charters, and for
other reasons which I will give further on, are those of
the Grange of the Hermitage of Theodoric, buried and
hidden from human eyes for well-nigh six hundred years.
The situation of the Hermitage was a strange one, and
lonely. It stood on almost the extreme point of a long,
narrow strip of land, having the Severn Sea on the west
side and an estuary on the east, up which the tide raced for
three miles, measuring from the opening on the shore
between the sand-hills. Lonely as the spot was, it seems
to have been such as appealed to the hermit's ideal :
St. Cadoc searched for solitary places suitable for hermit-
ages, and walked on one occasion about the banks of the
River Neath.1 Coch the hermit owned land in the
Marsh of Afan, near the shore.2 Another hermit, Ranulf,
held the fishery of Sub-Pul-Canan on the shore near
Briton Ferry.3 Apparently the hermits chose their
dwelling-places near the sea-shore.
Having seen the plan of the Grange, Mr. J. T. Mickle-
thwaite, the eminent architect and antiquary, wrote me :
" The building you have unearthed seems to be an
interesting one, and, so far as I can judge from the
1 Rees, Cambro -British Saints.
2 Maryam MSS.
8 See Dr. Birch, Neath Abbey, p. 42. Charter of Henry de New-
98 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
drawing, it may be of the first half of the fourteenth
century. It is not a hermitage in the usual sense of the
word ; but it seems to have been a dwelling-house of
some sort, and may have belonged to a Grange, or a cell
of the smaller sort." In writing Mr. Micklethwaite, I
should have explained that the ruins were those of the
Grange and not the Hermitage.
He also wrote me, in regard to the holy-water stoup :
"The fragment you have found may belong either to a
holy-water stoup or to a piscina. Very likely the circle
of the bowl was completed under a niche in the wall.
There is no detail to fix the date exactly, but I think it
riot earlier than the thirteenth century, and it may well
be the fourteenth." I am inclined to fix the date of the
Grange at near A.D. 1227, for the reason that in that
year, according to the Annales de Margan, the Welsh
cleared the Grange of Theodore, burnt several horses and
great flocks of sheep, and I think the dwelling-house may
have been — and probably was — destroyed, to be rebuilt,
then or later, as we see it now. The south-west window-
jambs are of about this date ; see section of window-jamb
in Le Newe Grange, which is similar.
Several charters, in describing the limits of the Abbey
lands, mention the Hermitage as a landmark. The latest
is one by Richard, Earl of Gloucester, between A.D. 1246
and A.D. 1249. From this date we find it no more
mentioned ; but we find in a detailed account of the
Abbey Granges and other documents, the reason probably
for this disappearance of the well-known landmark. This
detailed account was drawn up in A.D. 1326, by the Abbot
of Margam for the Abbot of Clairvaux, in obedience to the
mandates of the Apostolic See, and of Clairvaux. It is
followed by complaints of losses caused by mortality,
wars, nearness to the high road ; and that no small part
of the land adjacent to the shore is subject to innunda-
tion of sand. ^
A Bull of Pope Urban VI, addressed to the Bishop of
Llandaff, sanctions the appropriation of the patronage of
the Church of Aven (Aberavan) by the Abbey, because,
among other things, the Abbey lands and possessions
adjacent to the sea-shore had become unfruitful, owing
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 99
to inroads of the sea (doubtless sand is meant). Dated
17th July, A.D. 1383.
For the same reason, the Abbey was allowed to
appropriate the church of Penllyn.
I conclude from the evidence that the Grange was
overwhelmed by sand, and hidden effectually, from about
A.D. 1300, to A.D. 1898, a period of close upon six hundred
years. I think the building was quickly covered up by
the sand. Dividing two of the upper-storey rooms, I
found a clay partition 3 ins. thick, faced on each side
with mortar. This was still standing, kept up by the
sand, although the floor had disappeared. Had the
building remained exposed to rain and wind, this partition
would soon have collapsed. I can only account for it
remaining in position by the sand filling up the building
very quickly. The iron-work, too, has apparently been
preserved by being covered and protected from the saline
winds from the sea, so destructive to ironwork,
A tradition is mentioned in Davies' West Gower, as
existing in Gower, which somewhat confirms the date I
have given to the be-sanding of the Grange. In a grant,
dated June, A.D. 1317, Sir William de Breos, Lord of
the Seigniory of Gower, gives liberty to his huntsman
William, and Joan, his wife, to take hares, rabbits, and
foxes, in the sand-burrows of Penard. Mr. Davies
remarks on this : *' Here, then, we have indisputable
evidence that, in A.D. 1317, Penard burrows existed as a
fact. The tradition is, that it was formed by a terrible
storm, all in one night, and . . . the conclusion is almost
irresistible that both these burrows (Penard and Penmaen)
were formed at the same time, and the church and village
of Stedworlango were overwhelmed when the sandstorm
occurred, and consequently the be-sanding of these two
churches (Penard and Penmaen) must have taken place
previous to A.D. 1317."
The Grange and Penard are only separated by thirteen
miles, and it seems probable that the same storm covered
up the Grange of the Hermitage.
In the Bull of Pope Urban VII, before referred to,
one of the clauses refers to the heavy debts of the Abbey,
which made it impossible for it to repair its buildings,
100 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
now dilapidated by the " horrida ventorum intemperies" —
dreadful unseasonableness of gales, which had thrown
down or rendered insecure the greater part of them.
I believe (see the " Hermitage of Theodoric and the
Site of Pendar," Archceologia Cambrensis, April, 1903) the
hermitage was founded by Theodoricus, the nephew of
Sir Richard de Granavilla and of Sir Robert Fitz-hamon.
Seeing the hermitage was in Margam, which became the
dower land of Mabel, or Mabila, the daughter of Sir
Robert, and Theodoric's cousin, it seems to me likely
that the existence there of the hermitage, a beginning
of monastic life, induced the giving of Margam to the
monks of Clairvaux, for the establishment of a larger
monastic establishment, similar to that of Neath Abbey,
founded and endowed by Theodoric's uncle, Sir Richard.
It is said by some that Mabila was the only daughter of
Sir Robert Fitz-hamon ; by others that he had four
daughters. I think the latter is the more probable, as
we are told that two embraced the religious life — became
nuns. Probably the other died, and so practically Mabila
was the only daughter, being " in the world," and thus
she became his heiress. Mabel is called Mabli in lolo
P. S., p. 631.
At high tide, the Grange of Theodoric and Le Newe
Grange were separated by a width of tidal water of half
a mile, and truly picturesque the scene must have been
on a calm summer's day, with the background of Margam
mountain rising abruptly from the plain several hundred
feet, and clad with oaks right up to the summit, with
this stretch of water on the plain. We have a picture of
this in the Beaufort Progress, A.D. 1684 : " Margham is
a noble seat . . . Its scituation is among excellent
springs ... at the foot of prodigious high hilles of
woods, shelter for ye Deere, about a mile distant from an
arm of the Sea, parting this shore and the County of
Cornwall, below which, and washed almost round with
salt water, is a Marsh whereunto the Deer (ye tide being
low) resort much by swimming, and thrive to an extra-
ordinary weight and fatness as I never saw the like ..."
[ think the writer means the tide being high instead
of low. This was the marsh on which the Grange stood.
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 101
In winter, the Hermitage itself, before any of the
Granges were built, and before the Abbey rose and brought
its monks, must have been lonely in the extreme, and the
scene most weird and desolate. The roaring tide on one
side, and the tidal water of the estuary close up on the
other, the circling, wheeling gulls and other sea-birds with
their raucous cries, the spindrift scudding past the dwell-
ing, the strange, continuous roar or din which we hear at
times, as the breakers fall and dash upon the hard, flat
sands in rapid succession : these sounds echoed back from
the mountains, and all together mingled, seem to fill the
bowl of heaven with a curious roar, which creates a feel-
ing akin to awe, and must in those lonely days have
added to the sense of desolation.
I believe, although it is difficult to ascertain the rule
of life of the hermits, that they lived together as con-
ventual bodies, for we have the names of some, contem-
poraneous, and probably living together at this hermitage
— Theodoric, Meiler, and Coch.
The late Mr. J. Rowland Phillips, in his concise history
of Glamorgan, writes, "that at Kenfig, for instance, a great
tract of land had been swept away and rendered waste
by repeated sand-storms of unusual magnitude. The
first of which there is any account was a great storm in
the time of Richard II, when an unprecedented high tide,
swollen and infuriated by a great wind, devastated the
shore, carrying away lands and houses, and leaving in
their places nothing but sand-hills. The town suffered
much, houses were overwhelmed, the site of the church
of Towin disappeared." Mr. Phillips must refer to the
letter written by King Richard II, Clark C.C.C., from the
Patent Rolls of the 8th year of his reign, 28th October,
A.D. 1384, in which he sets forth that the Abbot of
Margam had delivered a petition showing how Edward
le Despenser, late Lord of Glamorgan arid Morgan, out of
consideration for the losses which the sand-storms had
inflicted on the Abbey, had bestowed on it the advowson
of Aberavon Church, without first obtaining the Royal
license. Subsequently, the Abbey obtained Papal per-
mission to appropriate, but the Crown, by a suit in the
Court of Common Pleas, recovered the advowson under
102 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
the provisions of the Statute of Mortmain ; yet the King,
hereby desiring to favour the monks, in consideration of
their expenses incurred in obtaining the licence of appro-
priation, grants the advowson, at the special request of
Thomas, Bishop of Llandaff, Royal Confessor, for the sake
of the King himself and heirs, and of the realm of
England, and of his soul after death, and the souls of his
progenitors and heirs, and of all faithful deceased persons.
I have little doubt, for the reason I have given before,
that the sand-storm occurred about A.D. 1300. Tradition
has it that the be-sanding of Kenfig took place in the
reign of Queen Elizabeth; but Leland, in A.D. 1540,
already found town and castle (Fitz-hamon's) " shoked
with sand." Besides the damage done by the sands of
the Severn Sea, Owen Glyndwr, A.D. 1402, caused the
Abbey great loss. The claims of Owen were opposed by
the Cistercians, and his only friends among the Abbeys
were the Franciscans. Owen, therefore, damaged the
property and buildings of the chief ecclesiastical founda-
tions in his war in Glamorgan.
If the sand did much damage to lands near the sea-
shore it also did some good to the Abbey, for the dunes
became thickly populated by rabbits, as they are to this
day ; and we find a grant (f. 220 ; C. MCLXVII) by Hugh
le Despenser, Lord of Glamorgan and Morgan, to Mar-
gam, of free warren in their rabbit warren of Bervves,
between the river of Avene and Kenefeg on the west side
as far as the sea, and on the east side just as the main
road extends from Aberavon to Kenfig. 16 Feb., 1344,
A.D., endorsed : " The grant of a warren or connigry to
be betwixt Avan and Kenfeg upon the borroes."
The monks evidently thought rabbit pie an agreeable
change after so much venison pasty.
The Abbey had the right of wreck along the shore, but
this was at times disputed. This right still belongs
to the owner of Margam estate. The right had been
given and confirmed by the Earl of Gloucester, soon after
the foundation of the Abbey. A record exists of the
proceedings (T. 196 ; C. MLXXXV) in the Glamorgan
County Court, in which a case was tried as to this right.
The Abbot complained that the Earl of Gloucester's
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARQAM ABBEY. 103
officers had seized a wreck between Avene and Kenefeg.
The jury found for the Abbot : 4th June, A.D., 1313.
The deed is endorsed : " An inquisicion wherin hit is
found that thobbot of Margan oweght to haue wrekkes
betwyxt Avon and Kenefeg." Another case arose in
A.D. 1333, and was tried in the Glamorgan County Court
(jT.210 ; C. MCXLII), before Johnde Mounteney, Sheriff of
Glamorgan, at Cardiff, on the 18th January, A.D. 1333.
John Louel, Steward of Margam Abbey, was charged
with appropriating a boat valued at 40s., three bales of
wool, 60s., a small coffer, and a cask worth 8d. The
property was claimed by Lord William La Zouche, Lord
of Glamorgan and Morgannok. The Steward pleaded
that the Abbot and his predecessors had immemorial
right of wreck there, a tempore quo non extol memoria.
The verdict was given in favour of the Abbot.
I have already mentioned the detailed account (T. 211 ;
C. MCXLIII), drawn up by the Abbot, of the Grange's lands
and property of the Abbey, in obedience to an Apostolic
mandate in A.D. 1326. In it we find, among other
matters, the number of monks and conversi inhabiting the
Abbey, and, I suppose, in the case of the latter, the
Granges. The Abbot states he is required to support
thirty-eight monks and forty conversi : so with servants
arid guests the establishment must have been an extensive
and costly one. He complains that the Abbey, being on
the high road, is continually overrun with rich and poor
strangers, as there are no other places of refuge near.
This interesting document was sealed in the presence
of twelve seniors of the house, before the Abbot of Neeth
(Neath) and Bernard, monk of Clairvaux, Bachelor of
THE GRANGE OF LLANBUGEILYDD.
"The Grange of the shepherd's inclosure." It is strange
that the name of this extensive farm had completely
disappeared. I think the reason for this is, that we find
from the Margam MSS. the farm was divided up and the
fields added to other farms. The homestead, too, if I am
right in locating its site, was turned into cottages now
known as Ton-y-Groes. I find from old people that these
104 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
cottages formed at one time a farm homestead. Judging
therefore from this, and the fact of the fields belonging to
it being in the neighbourhood of the cottages, I feel I am
justified in locating its site at Ton-y-Groes.
Several deeds leasing lands, part of Lanvegely, appear.
The earliest date I find Llanbugeilydd mentioned is
A.D. 1520, and the latest in the counterpart of a lease
by the Rt. Hon. Thomas, Lord Hansel, Baron of Margam,
P.O., to James ap John'of Avan, of two closes of land
Part of Llanbugeilydd Grange.
called Maes-y-Cwrt — field of the Court or Grange —
six acres, at Lanvegely, Lordship of Hafod-y-Porth.
29 Sept., A.D. 1712.
In one document the house is termed a mansion, and
in another the Chapel of Lanvigelethe is mentioned : no
remains of the chapel exist.
In Maes-y-Cwrt to-day, on the land of the Grange
of the shepherd's inclosure, near the site of an old barn,
which I used when a boy to pass at night in fear and
trembling — for tramps resorted there — stands "The
Shepherd's Inclosure," a magnificent Early English church,
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY. 105
dedicated to St. Theodore, built by Miss Talbot in A.D.
1897 ; and so although the name Llanbugeilydd had
been lost, " The Shepherds' Inclosure" is there.
The Lords of Alan, the descendants of lestyn ap
Gwrgan, were, as we have seen, benefactors of Margam
Abbey. They lived at Aberavan Castle, and so were
near neighbours of the Lord Abbot. For these reasons,
I give some account of them in these notes.
lestyn ap Gwrgan was descended from Tewdrig, King
of Glamorgan. He lost his lands when Fitzhamon
conquered Glamorgan, but these were in part restored to
his son Caradoc. The Lords of Afan were purely Welsh,
but they adopted Norman customs, and used large seals
bearing their effigies in armour on horseback. They bore
the de Clare arms : or., three chevrons gules ; crest, the
"Agnus Dei"-— the Lamb and Flag.
THE D'AVENE PEDIGREE.
lestyn ap Gwrgan.
Caradoc (eldest of four sons)=j=Gwladus, sister of Prince Rhys.
I I .
Morgan ap Caradoc. Meredith. = Lady Nest.
r ~r ~\~ ~\
Leisan. Morgan Gam. Owen, or Owein. Wenllian. Cadwallan.
Sir Leisan ap Morgan Morgan Fyclian. =Matildis, daughter of Sir Walter de Sullie.
Sir Leisan Dauene. =j=Lady Margaret.
Lord Dauene of Sir John Dauene, Knt. Thomas.
Kiluei (Kilvey) and Sully.
Sir Thomas d'Auene.
In A.D. 1151, Aberavan Castle was taken and destroyed
by Madoc ap Meredydd, Prince of Powys. Morgan ap
Caradoc thereupon fled, and placed himself under the
protection of William, Earl of Gloucester. Henceforth,
though Caradoc's descendants were more secure, they had
less independence — they became subject to the Lordship
These lords gave to the Abbey lauds in the Afan
106 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
March, in Resolven, in Newcastle (Bridgend), the common
of pastures between the rivers Neath and Afan, at Llan-
feithun, Baiden, and Cefn Machen, at the confluence of
the Ogmore and Gurw rivers.
Wenllian, too, the daughter of Morgan ap Caradoc,
gave lands to the Abbey.
One of them gave himself, with his lands, and was
received into full fraternity of Margam Abbey ; that is,
he became a monk. He was Meredydd, son of Caradoc.
Although the Lords of Afan gave lands to the Abbey,
there were frequent dissensions between them and the
Abbots. Morgan Gam — Morgan the Crooked — gave lands
to the Abbey, but he frequently did injury to its pos-
sessions. At times he made his peace with the monks,
but soon forgot his promises.
Leisan, too, had quarrels with the Abbot, but he was
not so violent as Morgan. In one deed he confirms his
father's gifts, and restores to the monks the land at
Newcastle, which he had unjustly ploughed and sown.
In another he undertakes not to vex the monks by
demanding his rents beforehand, and in another he
undertakes not to molest the monks in the Avene waters :
nor drive away their sheep, nor trouble them in their
cultivated lands in the fee of Newcastle, notwithstanding
he may be making war with others for the said New-
A most interesting document exists among the Margam
and Pen rice MSS. (C. DCCXXXIII), which gives us Leisan's
deed of confirmation of his father's and others' grants to
Margam, and of his determination to end all quarrels
with the Abbot and Convent of Margam.
At this peace-making there was, doubtless, a picturesque
scene in the Abbey church. Leisan, come of a princely
line, was the chief figure in the ceremony, and one can
picture the scene as he stood at the high altar swearing
that in future there shall be no more dissentions between
the monks and himself ; touching with his hand the most
Holy Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most precious
wood of the True Cross, and the reliques of the holy
Apostles, holy martyrs, holy confessors, and holy
I give Leisan's charter, translated from the Latin : —
NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MAfcGAM ABBEY. 107
Know all present and to come, that I, Leisan, son of Morgan,
have quitted all claims, quarrels, and exactions which I hitherto
had against the house of Margan, concerning all lands and tene-
ments which the monks of that house hold of me and my men in
my fee. Moreover, also, by this my present charter, I have con-
firmed to them all the concessions and agreements, and all the
charters, which Morgan son of Caradoc and Audoenus, my brother,
and our men, made to the same monks, and all the tenements
which they gave or sold to them, as well in Pultimor (Pwll du
mawr) and the marsh of Avene, as in the territory of Newcastle,
and in all other places under the mountains and upon the moun-
tains, that they may have and hold all these freely and quietly for
ever, as any alms can be well and freely held, as the charters of
my father and brother and our men testify. And especially the
land of Walter Lageles, which my father gave to the house of
Margan in alms. And I, Leisan, sane and prudent, have sworn
with my own hand upon the Sanctnaria of the monastery, that is
to say, upon the most sacred body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and
upon the most precious wood of the True Cross, and. upon the
relics of the holy Apostles, and holy martyrs, and holy confessors,
and holy virgins, the relics of all which were contained in one
Cross ; upon all these, placed upon the great altar, as they were
expressly and manifestly named to me, I have sworn, that for the
future I will not dispossess them of any tenement of theirs. . . .
nor will I hinder ... to plough, sow, hoe, mow their lands, or to
carry, collect, and take away, or to reap and carry their meadows,
or to do their own will concerning all their own affairs ; nor will I
bring upon them, or cause or permit to be brought upon them, any
damage concerning their stud of horses, or concerning all their
other animals which they have or shall have, in all their pastures
which they have in my fee, on account of any anger which I
might have had, or perchance shall have against them. And if
they shall catch me a delinquent in anything, or if they do not do
me that which by law they ought to do, I will show it to the
bailiffs, and I will undertake to make amends therefor by the
judgment of the court. And I have sworn that I will observe all
these things to the monks aforesaid, during the whole of my life.
These being witnesses : Walter de Sullie, then Sheriff of Glamor-
gan, Richard Flaman, Peter le Butiller, William de Cantilupe,
Walter Luvel, Stephen, clerk of Ken fig, Thomas Albas de Keuefeg,
Alaithur, Rees Goch, Griffin son of Knaithur, and many others.
Endorsed — " General confirmation of Leisan."
Leisan, after he had sworn and recited the deed, knelt
in front of the Abbot, and received his blessing.1
1 One of Leisan's seals shows the Abbot of Margam on the Abbey
throne blessing Leisan with uplifted hand, Leisan kneeling. The
Abbot of Margaiu was uiitrecl, and sat in the House of Lords.
108 NOTES ON THE GRANGES OF MARGAM ABBEY.
Leisan's seal to this document is still appended. — Date,
circa A.D. 1213.
tf« SIG1LLWM . LEISAUN . FILLI . MO[RGJAN.
No doubt the day was afterwards given up to re-
joicings, for it was an important event, and the Abbey
would extend its hospitality to all comers.
It is long since that day, for well-nigh seven hundred
summers have passed in their flight — gone in silence, as
have all who rejoiced then. It is a long time, yet we
to-day can pass through the same door of the old church
which Leisan passed through, we can see the same pillars
he looked on, as he passed up the church nave. We can
stand where he stood, when he touched the most precious
wood of the True Cross and the reliques of the Apostles,
martyrs, confessors, and virgins. But it is on sward we
stand, riot on the altar step. The high altar is gone
with its cross and the relics ; the organ is silent, gone,
too ; the silver dove with golden pyx no longer hangs
there waiting, with the precious food for those about to
go on their last long journey. All are gone save some
walls in ruins, with the Abbot's doorway, and save the
dead Abbots lying there. What a glorious chancel it
must have been — and now !
I wonder if the monks still come and gaze at so much
I here offer my grateful thanks to Dr. de Gray Birch
for allowing me to draw so freely from his valuable works
on Margam ; to Mr. Edward Roberts, of Swansea, for
his aid in place-names — in place-name researches he
is facile princeps ; to Lieut.-Col. David, Maesgwyn ; and
to Mr. Lipscomb, Margam, for kind help.
NOTE.— Since I wrote Part I of these Notes, I have discovered the
location of Terrys Grange (see vol. lix, p. 166). The buildings of the
Grange no longer exist, but its lands are in Hafod-y-Porth, on Mynydd
Embroch. Terrys stands for Ty Rhys. The ruins of a small building
on the lands of the Grange are called Ty Rhys-yr-allt.
Part I, vol. lix, p. 181, line 9 from bottom, for " east," read " west."
Part II, p. 15, note 2, line 4, for " There is," read "There are."
P. 16, note 1, line 1, for " Carta Morgian," read " Carta Morgani."
BX 2603 ,P36 1900
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